Legal Question in Family Law in California

If you have a court child custody order already in place that is 80/20 and the parents decide to deviate from that schedule to 50/50 for a short time in order "co-parent" more efficiently without notifying the court. Then they decided to go back to normal visitation schedule. Can one of the parents ask the court for 50/50 custody and change the existing order? The child is 15 years old. The parents do not agree on sharing 50/50 custody. One parents wants to keep it 80/20.

Asked on 6/24/21, 5:31 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Haapala, Thompson & Abern, LLP

Either parent can ASK for a custody order to be modified any time they can show there has been a "change of circumstances." Change of circumstances can be as simple as passage of time. It can also be "we tried a 50/50 for a while and I think it was better for the child than the 80/20." Whether the court will agree to the modification depends on what the evidence shows as to whether the old plan or the new plan is "in the best interests of the minor child." One other side note on something to be aware of. Any child 14 or older has an independent personal legal right to tell the court what THEY want and why.

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Answered on 6/26/21, 4:49 pm

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