Substantial Change in Circumstances and Child Custody

child custody lawyers reno nv

Change in Circumstances & Child Custody

In Reno, Nevada, it is not uncommon for a parent or child’s circumstances to change after a judge has issued a child custody order. When there is a change in a child or their parent’s situation, the court can modify the child custody order. A child custody order, however, can only be modified if there has been a substantial change in circumstances affecting the well-being of the child and when the alteration is in the best interest of the child. The experienced family law attorneys of Carlson & Work can help you attain a modification in your child’s custody order.

Substantial Change in Circumstances

Not every change in a child or parent’s life is a substantial change. A substantial change in circumstances means a significant and permanent alteration that cannot be caused by something that the parent voluntarily did. The divorce attorneys of Carlson & Work are experienced in identifying what life changes in a child and parent’s life can be defined as a substantial change. Some general examples of a substantial change in circumstance include the following:

  • Change in the child’s needs.
  • Change in the parent’s situation.
  • Physical relocation of the custodial parent.
  • A child is in danger/in an unsafe environment.
  • The parent refuses to follow the current child custody order.
  • Parent has lost their job or had a considerable decrease in income.

Factors Considered in Modifying a Child Custody Arrangement

In addition to identifying that there has been a substantial change in circumstances of the child or one of the parents, the judge will also review several other factors involving the child and parent’s current situation, including:

  • The financial situation of each parent.
  • The parent’s relationship with one another.
  • The type of living environment each parent can provide to their child.
  • The level of involvement each parent has in their child’s life.
  • The length of time that the child has spent with each parent.
  • Any intentional acts by either parent to prevent the other from spending time with their child.
  • The physical and mental health of the parents.
  • Any trouble in carrying out the current custody order.

Best Interest of the Child

In any modification of a child custody order, the change must be in the best interest of the child. Therefore, the party attempting to modify the child custody order must not only prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances but also that the change being requested is in the child’s best interest.

If you are a parent in the Reno, Nevada area looking to modify your current child custody arrangement, contact the family law attorneys of Carlson & Work at 775-386-2226. Our knowledgeable divorce attorneys can assist you with the child custody modification process.


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