When should I file a motion to modify a custody order?

Griffin Law, PLLC
Feb 08, 2023

Making sure your child has a good life following your divorce is a process that will last for years to come. Even after securing a court order to set up your custody arrangement, it is likely you will have to return to court to change it in the future.

You may have heard that you should file a Motion to Modify in order to alter your custody situation. The North Carolina Courts website explains when this might be the case.

Modifying a temporary order

A temporary order legally binds you and your co-parent, but you do not have to file a motion to change it. You may request another hearing to review your existing order or schedule a trial to get a permanent custody order. However, there are some instances when it may benefit your case to file a motion to modify your temporary order.

Given that a temporary order can become permanent if neither you nor your co-parent asks the court to modify it, it is important to make a decision as soon as possible if you do not want to change the order when it is permanent.

Modifying a permanent order

You will have to file a motion to alter a permanent custody order. This involves preparing a case that circumstances have substantially changed in the life of your child since the court had last enacted your custody order. You should state these changes in your custody order and be ready to prove them at the trial.

Ultimately, a custody order should serve the best interests of your loved one. Knowing how the legal process works could help you work toward this goal.

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