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3 types of documentation that may support a modification case

The custody terms set by a judge when parents litigate their divorce reflect what the judge believes would be in the best interests of the children. It is common for parents who do not receive an equal allocation of parenting time to want more. Oftentimes, they have the option of requesting a modification when they can show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. They submit a proposed order reflecting the new terms they want the courts to approve.

Parents may work eagerly to improve their situation so that they can spend more time with their children. Filing the paperwork to request a custody modification could lead to a hearing in Massachusetts family courts unless the other parent agrees to the proposed custody changes, in which case, the adjustments would simply need to be formalized. At a hearing, the parent requesting more time with the children must prove that would be in the best interests of the children. The following types of evidence can potentially help them convince a judge of that fact.

Medical records

Perhaps someone previously had issues with substance abuse or mental health challenges. They may have worked to overcome those challenges, possibly by attending therapy, starting medication or even going to inpatient rehabilitation. Medical records affirming that someone has improved their circumstances could help that person convince a judge that they can safely increase that parent’s time with the children.

Witness testimony

Plenty of people may recognize that an adult has improved their circumstances or their relationship with their children. Teachers, mental health care providers and countless others could provide testimony attesting to the bond between the parent and the children or the improvement in the parents’ circumstances.

Financial records

Sometimes, the issue that led to a judge limiting someone’s parenting time was an inability to meet the needs of the children. When they have improved their circumstances, a judge may agree to increase their parenting time. Records showing income from a steady job, proof of housing and other financial records can show that someone is ready to take on more parental responsibility.

Judges can potentially grant more parenting time and decision-making authority to those who correct the issues that led to the courts limiting their parental rights in their initial custody order. Gathering the right evidence can improve someone’s chances of success when they hope to modify a custody order in a litigated matter under circumstances such as these.