A Modification of Physical Custody requests that a judge change where a child lives. It is also referred to as a Modification of Residential Custody.
Modification of Physical Custody Lawyer – Fairfield and Stamford
The judge must first decide whether there has been a “substantial change in circumstances” since the last custody order. For example, the current custodial parent falls on hard times (i.e. substance abuse, untreated mental health, housing issues). Or the child is not doing well academically or socially in their current environment. Plus an older child who wants to live with the other parent usually qualifies. These are just a few examples. There are countless others that are unique to the particular circumstances of a family. The point is that minor changes won’t cut it – the motion will be dismissed.
If the judge decides that there has been a sufficient change – then the door is open. The judge can modify the custody arrangement. In doing so, the judge will consider the best interest factors set forth in Connecticut General Statutes Section 46b-56.
In my experience, the following are the most important for a Modification of Physical Custody:
- The stability of the child’s existing residence compared to the other, proposed residence
- The length of time the child has lived in an environment and the desirability of maintaining that continuity
- The child’s adjustment to his or her home, school and community
- The past and current interaction and relationship of the child with each parent
- Any relevant information obtained from the child including their informed preference based on their age and maturity
If custody is modified other changes may need to be made such as child support and what access the other parent will have to the child.
You may contact me by email or by calling my Fairfield office at (203) 259-5251 or in Stamford at (203) 356-1475 for further information concerning this topic and to schedule a consultation concerning a Modification of Physical Custody.