Defining Material Changes in Your Virginia Child Custody Agreement (Part A)Many life circumstances may change after your Virginia child custody arrangement has been finalized. These new conditions, or material changes, may provide you with an opportunity to modify your Virginia child custody arrangement.
The circumstances that the courts deem substantial or material changes can be difficult to interpret and demonstrate to the court's liking. You'll need to meet the court's criteria for changing your Virginia child custody arrangement. An experienced Virginia child custody attorney can help you to understand all the requirements of requesting a change.
Understanding What is Meant by "Material Changes"
Material changes, or substantial changes, are life circumstances that may affect the stability of a child's environment. If you're seeking to change your Virginia child custody arrangement, you'll have to be able to prove that a substantial change has occurred that greatly impacts you child's stability and development.
In order to change your Virginia child support arrangement, you must be able to show the courts that:
- material changes have affected the circumstances of you, your child and/or your ex-husband; and
- the new circumstances that you suggest would improve your child's situation.
This can prove to be a difficult undertaking and it's wise to seek the counsel of a Virginia child support attorney who can help you clearly make your case and advocate for the desired changes in your Virginia child custody arrangement.
Identifying Material Changes
Circumstances that the courts consider as material changes that may play a role in changing your Virginia child custody arrangement include:
- violation of the Virginia child custody arrangement;
- relocation of custodial parent;
- purposeful damaging of child's relationship with non-custodial parent;
- child abuse or neglect;
- financial instability of custodial parent;
- illness or disability of custodial parent; and/or
- remarriage of either parent.
Remember that the court's primary task is to do what they find to be in the child's best interests. Courts typically make it a priority to preserve the stability of the child's environment and are hesitant to change a Virginia child custody arrangement unless there are verifiable material changes that warrant a modification.
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