One of the toughest things about divorce is ensuring your relationship with your child remains steady. Despite the whirlwind of change, your love for them is as strong as ever. Navigating these emotions within a child custody order can be difficult – especially if the custody arrangement is outdated and no longer makes sense.

You can request a modification to a child custody order (either physical or legal custody) through the courts. A successful filing, however, must meet some key criteria. Here are three important things to know about child custody modifications in Ohio.

1. There needs to be a change in circumstance

A court will not grant a child custody modification simply because you asked for one. Instead, there needs to be a significant change in circumstances since the last order was established. Many events could qualify, but some common examples include:

  • A change in employment, such as a job loss
  • A serious injury or health condition
  • The development of a criminal case
  • One parent deciding to move

2. The child’s best interests come first

It’s not enough just to show there’s been a change in circumstance. Instead, you have to demonstrate why changing the custody order will be beneficial for the child (or, in legal language, in their best interests). Essentially, the proposed modification has to make things better for them.

3. Some patience will be required

A child custody modification request is not instantaneous. It will often take at least a couple of months for the process to play out. If the change is contested or there are complex issues the court must consider, then it can take much longer – potentially more than a year. During this time, it is important to adhere to all of the court’s rules and guidelines. Having proper legal support can help give your request the best chance to succeed.