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Four ways to defend against a child custody modification motion

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2024 | Child Custody

A child custody modification request filed by the other parent can feel like a punch to the gut. After all, they’re going to make allegations in their request that indicate that you’re an unfit parent. And if you’re not prepared to address those allegations, then your time with your child can be restricted or even completely eliminated. This could impact your relationship with your child for years to come.

But what can you do to protect your position in a child custody dispute? Fortunately, you have a lot of options available to you. Just remember that the court is going to analyze what’s in your child’s best interests, so be sure to loop all of your arguments back to what’s best for your kid.

Tips for defending against a child custody modification request

You don’t have to be aggressive when it comes addressing a child custody modification request. You just have to be smart. Here are some ways that you can craftily counter the modification motion filed against you:

  • Find and utilize favorable evidence: The allegations against you might be based on misconstrued facts or falsehoods. You need to make sure the record is straight. One way to do that is to present evidence that contradicts what the other parent claims. Be thoughtful about where you can gather this evidence, and don’t overlook the power of testimony from family members, friends, and experts.
  • Stay focused on your child’s best interests: A lot of modification requests are nothing more than attacks on an individual with very little nexus to how the issues at hand affect parenting abilities. So, if you can, try to link everything back to your ability to care for your child, focusing on what’s in their best interests.
  • Conduct discovery: Discovery is the process whereby you learn information possessed by the other side. This can be accomplished by requesting documentation or even deposing the other parent and their expected witnesses. Engaging in discovery will give you a better sense of the information that the other parent is working with, and you can lock witnesses into their statements. The latter can help you point out inconsistencies, thereby giving you the ability to destroy witness credibility.
  • Request a child custody evaluation: If you want an unbiased perspective on your parenting abilities, then you might want to request a court-ordered child custody evaluation. Here, a neutral third-party will review relevant records, conduct interviews, and observe parenting time to gain a sense of your family’s dynamics and make a recommendation as to the type of custody arrangement that’s best for your child. This report can carry a lot of weight with the court.

Don’t be afraid to go on the offensive, either. By making counter arguments, you can demonstrate to the court that the existing custody order is appropriate, or even that modification in your favor is warranted.

Be smart in defending your relationship with your child

Your relationship and bond with your child is on the line when a child custody modification request is filed. If you don’t prepare to properly address it, then you could face a devastating outcome.

So, diligently assess the motion that’s been filed and think through the best way to counter it. Although that can be stressful to do, you can find assistance to help you get through the process. That way, you’ll hopefully be able to move forward with your case with the confidence and competence you need to succeed on your child’s behalf.