Unlike other legal matters, many family law issues are not one-shot deals. For example, things like child support and child custody are all subject to review by the court overseeing the case. The idea is that the best interests of the children involved are subject to change as time goes on.
Neither parent can ask for a change to a custody and parenting time order until one year has gone by since the order was issued. However, there are several exceptions to this rule. For instance, if a parent or the child is a victim of domestic violence or abuse, then a court can review parenting time and custody immediately. Likewise, a court can make changes as soon as possible if a parent has proof that not acting quickly would significantly harm or endanger the child.
Finally, in cases where parents are attempting a joint custody arrangement, either parent can request a change after six months if they believe the other parent is not following the order.
Getting an exception to the one-year waiting period requires a parent to prove they are entitled to an exception. In this respect, our law office can help. In addition to offering advice and guidance, we can assist with an investigation into the case and help with preparing arguments that will hopefully convince a judge that a custody modification is important enough that it cannot wait a year to hear. We also will help our clients as they try to demonstrate that a change is necessary to protect the child's best interests.