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What is a “Substantial Change in Circumstances”?

In Child Custody by Elizabeth Stephenson

When it comes to child custody, change is constant. This is because parents get new jobs, enter into new relationships, and move. Of even greater significance is that children get older. As they do, their needs change, their relationships with parents change, they want more time to themselves and school commitments grow. This is why child custody orders and agreements are not expected to last forever. However, just because circumstances change does not mean that parties should ignore existing orders. That could result in civil contempt. Instead, parents should consult with attorneys about modifying an existing child custody order. In order to obtain a modification of an order, a party seeking a change must first demonstrate that there has been a “substantial change in circumstances.”the statute does not define what …