Can Child Custody, Visitation, and Support Be Changed?


One of the most complicated aspects of a Pasadena divorce settlement is deciding child custody, visitation, and child support. But, it's important to realize that these agreements are not necessarily set in stone. They can be changed as needed at a later date.

What is determined to be in the child's best interests when he or she is young is not necessarily what is going to work for a teenager. As children grow older and more independent, the court is also more willing to listen to their opinion regarding who they would like to live with. As long as it does not appear that the child is being unduly influenced by his or her parent, the court will likely grant a teen's request.

The circumstances of each parent can change as well. For example, a parent who frequently traveled for work and was unable to be the primary caretaker at the time of the divorce may now have a job that allows him or her to be more involved with the child's day to day activities. When a parent remarries, this can also spur a need to readdress child custody and visitation agreements.

Whenever there is a change in visitation or custody, child support payments should be adjusted. You will need to either go to court to ask for a change in the child support order or contact the LCSA (Local Child Support Agency) to ask to the court to modify the court order. Until the appropriate paperwork is processed, you will continue to owe the same amount of child support. If you simply stop paying or pay a reduced amount, you will have a past-due (arrears) account and be subjected to various penalties.

If you would like to seek a change in child custody, visitation, or support agreements, you will need to contact an experienced Pasadena family law lawyer. Many lawyers are mediation friendly, which is often a cheaper and less adversarial way to handle child-related issues.