California law generally allows both parents to have custody of their children after a divorce or separation. Of course, this is only true if shared custody is in a child’s best interest, and it’s possible that a judge will agree to modify the terms of an existing order if there is sufficient reason to do so.
Why an order might be changed
A child custody order might be changed if there is reason to believe that your son or daughter is in imminent danger. For instance, if your former partner threatens to harm your child, that would likely be enough to suspend or terminate existing parental rights. An order may also be modified if your former partner fails to spend time with your kid or tries to prevent you from seeing your offspring.
Your child’s needs will likely change
As your child gets older, there may be a need to modify a parenting plan to better reflect the current situation. For instance, an older child may be better suited to spend nights at each parent’s house as opposed to a baby who may need to spend the majority of the time in one place. If your child is over the age of 12, a judge may seek the minor’s input when determining if any changes should be made to an existing parenting plan.
Having a relationship with your child after a divorce is often the most effective way to help your kid transition to their new reality. To obtain or maintain your parental rights, a judge will need evidence that having them is in the best interest of your child. Medical records, report cards or other evidence may be used to convince a judge that you deserve shared or full custody of your kid.