When deciding custody matters, the court usually puts the interests of the children first. Therefore, if the situation with either parent changes and the children are not safe, a judge can modify the custody orders to protect them under Rhode Island law.
As a result, either parent can lose custody of the other following the issuance of new orders by a judge. If you need to modify your existing custody orders and protect your children, here is what you need to know.
You need to have valid reasons
When mediation cannot work to resolve issues between the co-parents, the courts are the last resort. However, a judge cannot easily change orders that affect the children unless they have to. Therefore, you need to have evidence of the change in circumstances that puts your children’s welfare in danger.
For instance, if your co-parent develops a drug problem, is negligent or abusive to the children, that can be a reason to revise child custody orders. However, you need to show that to the court. Testimony from the children or other witnesses, even a doctor’s report, could help your case.
Other reasons can include:
- Physical relocation to an environment that could be harmful to them
- A change in your child’s needs
- Being prevented access to the children, among others
If you can show the court that the children are in danger, your petition is likely to be successful.
You don’t have to wait
If your children are in urgent danger, you do not have to go through the long process of modifying custody orders. This can happen when your co-parent wants to leave the country or cross state borders with the children against court orders. In such an instance, you can file for emergency orders to address the situation.
When co-parenting, it is necessary to know the steps to take when the custody arrangement is not working.