How to Petition the Court for Custody
- 1). Seek a family attorney who has expertise in this area. She can tell you what your options are and how to proceed, including the necessary paperwork that is required for modification of a custody agreement, according Divorcenet.com website.
- 2). Consider that when parents are on good terms, changing a child-custody agreement can be as simple as discussing and agreeing to the modifications. However, if the parents aren't on good terms or can't come to an agreement, the only solution is to allow the court to decide.
- 3). File with the clerk of courts the petition, which should include the original custody agreement and an affidavit explaining why you are trying to modify the arrangement and agreement. Your former spouse will receive notice that you have filed a petition and is required to respond. Your former spouse will probably note why the agreement should not be changed in his response if he is not in agreement with the modification. Specify in your request which parent presently has custody, which parent wants physical custody and what the visitation schedule will be and child-support arrangements.
- 4). Realize that even when the custody modification is agreed upon by both parents, it is still necessary for both to show up in court for the eventual hearing. Both parents must sign the petition and affidavit, if in agreement about the change. When parents do not agree, both parties must appear in court and argue their sides of the case. The judge will decide the outcome.