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Do I have the right to request changes to a child custody order?

Deciding on what may seem like agreeable custody terms is not necessarily easy. After everything has been hashed out and a child custody order approved in court, one or both parents may find that the terms of that order do not actually suit the needs of their family. What can be done in this type of situation? Do Massachusetts laws support child custody order modifications?

Yes, parents do have the right to request changes to custody orders. While this is not something that can be done and approved overnight, it is possible. These requests can come from one or both parents. Depending on who is wanting the change and why, a court hearing may be required before any decisions can be finalized.

If one parent has requested the change, getting approval can take a little longer than if both parents were to agree on a new custody arrangement and file for the adjustment together. Modifications can be approved in as little as 30 days if the court has no objections or does not require more information about the reasons for the desired changes. In order to help speed up the process, submitting all necessary information is vital. If anything is missing or if there are any other problems with the paperwork, these issues can delay the process.

Child custody regulations in Massachusetts are set to ensure children are placed in the best situations possible for their circumstances. However, life events may warrant the modifications of original orders. Legal assistance is available to help parents achieve custody orders that serve their specific needs and the needs of their children.

Source:, “How to File to Change Custody or Parenting Time“, Accessed on Aug. 10, 2015


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