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Why a custody order could be changed

Virginia parents and others typically operate under the terms of a child custody agreement after a divorce. Depending on the circumstances of a case, both parents may be given custody of the child, but it is also possible that only one parent is granted custody. Regardless of what the initial order states, it may be possible to have it modified at a later date. Of course, this assumes that it is in the child's best interest to do so.

In most cases, a change will not be made unless there is a good reason for it. For instance, if it can be shown that a child is in danger, a modification could be made to the current custody order. If a parent moves, it may be necessary to reconsider a current custody agreement. Several factors will be considered, such as how far away the parent is moving and why the move is taking place.

If a parent dies or is not cooperating with the agreement, it may be changed. If a parent is not cooperating with the plan, evidence must be presented that efforts were made to communicate with that individual. Even after a custodial parent dies, the noncustodial parent is not automatically granted custody. This would only be the case if the noncustodial parent can properly look after the child.

Typically, both parents are allowed to have custody or visitation rights to their children. This arrangement is generally what's best for children and allows them to continue to have relationships with adults who they know and love. However, if there is any reason to believe that an individual is unable to handle the responsibility of being a parent, an order may be modified. An attorney may help present evidence that this should happen.

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