Our Los Angeles family law attorneys at Land Legal Group know that going through a California divorce is one of the most difficult experiences individuals and families can endure. When these divorces involve children, the child custody details can quickly get away from one parent, leaving them worried about what they agreed to during negotiations, mediation, or litigation.
Once the dust settles, and the emotional rollercoaster comes to a stop, one parent may realize the custody agreement they signed is not in the children’s best interests.
The question becomes, how can you modify your California child custody agreement once it is finalized?
The answer is a little more complicated and involves pursuing a child custody modification claim in court. Since every California child custody modification case must be pursued on its unique merits, there is no exhaustive list that provides the guidance necessary to make a positive impact inside the courtroom.
However, the following list can help guide your legal pursuit in the right direction.
Gather Tangible Evidence that Your Kids are in Jeopardy
Tangible evidence of neglect, drug or alcohol abuse, or other unsafe circumstances is best obtained in the form of pictures or videos.
You certainly do not want to place your children in a position to spy on their other parent for you, so consider more diplomatic actions.
They may include:
- Searching social media for images or videos of circumstances where your children’s best interests are not the priority, or when they are being exposed to things they should not be.
- Partner with a reputable private investigator to obtain photos or videos of the parent and children in public places that are not suitable for their attendance.
- Develop a system that alerts you when the other parent leaves the kids alone, or with an untrusted/unknown party.
While your kids should never feel as though they are being put in a position to “tell on” their other parent, they must understand if they feel unsafe, they can call you.
Rely on Professionals to Help Prove Your Case
If your children’s other parent has drug or alcohol abuse issues, there is probably a record of it. This may include DUI/drug arrests, rehabilitation, and other documented requirements that can help support your claim.
In some cases, a child may have a medical need that is ignored by the other parent, to undermine its severity. If your child does not receive the treatment he or she needs while with the other parent, their physician may help provide the testimony you need to move forward with a claim.
In other cases, educators, coaches, and/or mental health professionals may offer supporting evidence that helps support a request for child custody modification.
Supporting Communication Through Emails, Text Messages & Witness Testimony
If disputes are common between you and your ex-spouse, communication may be limited to text messages and emails, so you do not have to speak with one another.
These emails and text messages can become incredibly powerful evidence of what one side said to the other, uncovering one parent’s true intent and motivation that leads to a problematic situation that ends with a custody modification request.
Often, when one parent is creating an unsafe or abusive environment for their kids, their family members — including parents, siblings, or other close relatives — may be willing to testify on your behalf to ensure the kids are safe. Keep in mind, relying on family members for their testimony can be a slippery slope, especially if they do not have good relationships with their family members, and are simply trying to harm them further.
A strong California family court case is built on independent, unbiased, and accurate facts and evidence. Partnering with a skilled Los Angeles child custody attorney can help you understand what it takes to pursue a modification and stands a much greater chance of success in having your concerns addressed. We can help.
Contact Our Los Angeles Family Law Attorneys at the Land Legal Group Today
If you have questions about pursuing a child modification order to ensure your children’s best interests are placed first, contact our team of skilled family law attorneys in Los Angeles at the Land Legal Group by calling (310) 552-3500 today.