Child Custody Modification

in California

There are instances when sudden changes and unexpected events require a parent to seek a modification to their child custody and visitation agreement. If you find yourself in this situation, it is extremely important to have an experienced and knowledgeable Novato family lawyer on your side who is capable of advocating for the modification and can properly advise you of your legal rights and options.

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Requirements to Modify a Child Custody Agreement in California

If you are seeking to modify a child custody agreement in California, you need to request a court hearing. The only exception is if the other parent voluntarily agrees to the modification. If the other parent objects to the modification, a court will need to get involved.

To request a custody modification, you need to complete a Request for Order (Form FL-300), which is otherwise known as a motion. This form includes a section where you provide a detailed plan on how you are planning to stay involved in your child’s life, including scheduled visits and continued child support. Additionally, you will need provide an explanation as to why this modification is necessary. Your explanation on why the modification is necessary is arguably the most important aspect of requesting the modification. Why? Because in most cases, your testimony at a court hearing is fairly limited. As a result, a judge will rely largely on your written explanation.

When you are done filling out your Request for Order (Form FL 300), you need to take the following steps:

  • Make two copies of the Form FL 300
  • File the original with the Clerk of Court
  • Request a hearing from the court
  • Serve a copy of the modification documents on the other parent
  • File proof of service
  • Make sure to attend the court hearing

Reasons Why You May Need to Modify a Child Custody Order

It is possible to seek a modification of a child custody order at any time. Some of the most commonly cited reasons to seek a modification of a child custody order include:

  • You need to relocate due to a change in employment
  • The non-custodial parent is placing the child in a dangerous or harmful environment
  • The non-custodial parent’s religious practices are harming the child
  • The custodial parent is intentionally denying the non-custodial parent rightful contact and visitation with the child

Legal Basis to Seek a Modification of a Child Custody Agreement

When you are seeking to modify a child custody order, you need to have legal grounds to do so. In order to request the modification, you need to show there has been a “change in circumstances” subsequent to the original custody order.

A “change in circumstances” means there was a significant, material change in circumstances that necessitates a modification to the child custody and visitation agreement for the best interest of the child.


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I highly recommend Jeremy Castro and his associates to any future clients. They are legal professionals who: 1. Know and apply the law to your individual case to achieve the best possible outcome 2. Communicate in a fair and straightforward manner to all parties 3. Reduce the tension in an otherwise emotional setting and assist making objective decisions. They personally saw my case through to an amicable conclusion and their billing hours were appropriate. First class performance!
I wanted to take this time to write a review about my experience with Castro Law Offices. First off, they were not only FAST to my reply, but also very kind to my emotional situation. I was even handed some tissues for when I was crying. I was treated with the upmost respect (even though I'm sure I looked a little manic while in there explaining my case.) and kindness. They got my case close within a week, and also got me EVERYTHING I was asked for. I recommend Castro Law for ANYONE in need of lawyer assistance. Jeremy and his team work hard, day and night to make sure they meet all of their client's needs. If you're looking for immediate help and guidance with ANY attorney, Castro Law.
When things came to a point of contention with my children's father I knew I needed the help of an attorney. After weeks long search and hundreds of dollars in consultation fees with numerous other attorneys I finally found Jeremy! He is very knowledgeable regarding family law issues, authentic in his character and legal advice, as well as very reliable. As anyone in our shoes has been knows, the unknown can be very stressful. Jeremy made it a point to get back to me promptly when I contacted him...sometimes late into the night. He also was very transparent regarding communication with the other party. Would absolutely recommend Jeremy to anyone with with family law needs!
I was so happy I had decided to hire the Castro Law Office for my child custody and visitation case in Napa County. As a single father of three boys in the state of California, I felt as if I was already doomed thinking that the state would favor the mother regardless of my capability to care for our children. Jeremy was very empathetic and worked diligently to get myself in a good position for the hearing, as I hired him approximately a month prior to the court date. During the hearing, he was very stern and aggressive at the right moments. The situation I was in was extremely stressful and hiring the Castro Law Office helped put my mind at ease. He was very upfront and honest with me from the beginning and which is a trait I greatly appreciated. In the end, we were able to obtain an agreement that is best suited for the children and ourselves. I would hire them again for any other issues I might have in the future.

Involved In A Custody Dispute?

Schedule A Confidential Case Review With An Experienced California Family Attorney

If you are contemplating filing for divorce, or are in the process of getting divorced, and need help assessing your rights pertaining to child custody, Castro Law Offices, P.C. is ready and able to help. We are a premier law firm specializing divorce, child custody, and all other issues concerning California family law.

Castro Law Offices, P.C. is based in Novato, California, but is ready and able to provide legal services and advice to clients in and around Marin County including Novato, San Rafael, Greenbrae, San Anselmo, Fairfax, Sausalito, Larkspur, West Marin, Ross, Mill Valley and Corte Madera. Contact Castro Law Offices, P.C. today to schedule a confidential consultation.