If you file for divorce in a Kansas court, and you have children, their well-being will be a central focus of all proceedings. Once a family court judge issues a final decree, you and your ex must adhere to its terms, especially concerning your parenting agreement. There are numerous types of child custody, and sometimes issues may arise that compel you to ask the court to change its orders. The legal term for this is “child custody modification.”
Unless the court grants child custody modification, the initial terms of agreement remain in effect. Likewise, your obligation to adhere to those terms does, too. Since a family court judge makes decisions carefully, with children’s best interests in mind, you must demonstrate just cause for requesting a change.
Legitimate reasons for child custody modification
Things often happen in life to make an original agreement between two divorced parents unfeasible. For example, if you have agreed to drive your children to and from school every day and remain without a vehicle after a car accident, you might have no way of getting them there. In such circumstances, you might consider requesting a temporary modification of your court order.
The following list shows several more legitimate reasons why a family court judge might grant a request for child custody modification:
- You or your ex are moving to another state.
- There is evidence to show that your ex is alienating your children from you.
- Your ex has become an unfit parent due to substance abuse.
- You believe your ex is neglecting or abusing your children.
- Either you or your ex have encountered serious health problems.
Any of these issues would constitute just cause for requesting child custody modification. It doesn’t guarantee that the court will grant the request; however, in cases where a parent has demonstrated just cause, the court is often willing to change the terms of a court order.
What if the judge denies your request?
If a Kansas family court judge denies your request for child custody modification, then the initial terms of agreement still stand, and you and your former spouse must fulfill your obligations, no matter what. In some cases, you might be able to appeal a child custody decision by asking a higher court to overturn the lower court’s ruling.
An appellate court does not hear new arguments but simply reviews all court records associated with the lower court’s ruling, then decides whether to uphold or overturn it. It’s imperative that you understand Kansas child custody laws before requesting modification or filing an appeal.