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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 118130
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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Is there any way to get a judge to change their mind on a custody

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Is there any way to get a judge to change their mind on a custody decision? My child is not necessarily in harms way at her fathers however he is not stable, he does not have his own home and he has a babysitter watching her in a run down appartment. I live in a beautiful condo is an amazing neighborhood with one of the best school systems in the state, I would really like to know how to get this situation changed.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

Once a judge makes a decision on child custody, they can reconsider the custody based on a motion to modify if you can prove a significant change in circumstances. However, if all of these issues you are raising were existing at the time he awarded custody, then your recourse was you had to appeal the decision to the appeals court within 30 days of the judgment.

I am afraid that unless you can now prove some recent change in circumstances regarding the father's abilities to properly care for the child, the court will not change the determination and if you did not appeal the decision 2 years ago when the court stated it was not detrimental to the child, I am afraid it is too late to change that ruling.

If you can get new psychological evaluations of the child to prove the child is somehow being damaged by visitations with the father, then that would be a new basis for filing for a motion to change/modify the custody and parenting plan. Without such new evidence the court will deny making any changes.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

2 years ago when the decision was made he wasn't in a bad position. However since then he has lost his job and his home. The reason he was awarded it in the first place was because when I left him I had moved to my parents so he was the more "stable" parent. Within the last 2 years I have been able to provide for our child in many more ways than he can. I realize that she is not in harms way with him but everything has changed, hes been arrested and he is living in his friends basement, now i just dropped our daughter off at his babysitters for the first time and shes in a run down appartment in the middle of the ghetto, it breaks my heart this is not how I live or how I ever want our daughter to live. Is there a way to get a gaurdian ad litem or something along those lines?

Thank you for your response.

That is what I said in my first answer. If the situation has changed significantly since the last hearing on the matter, you can move to make the change based on that change in circumstance. Living in a basement and keeping the child in a bad neighborhood is a pretty significant change and that would be your argument.

You really do not want a GAL, since many times they form a bond with one parent and can cause greater harm than good. You need to ask to change the custody/visitation and perhaps ask for supervised visits or visits that take place at least away from these bad areas for the best interests of the child.

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