One thing in life is constant: change. In recent months, all of us have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in some way, and we’ve had to adjust to the changing circumstances accordingly. Some have lost their financial security while others have directly faced health fears.

With shelter-in-place orders and early school closures, divorced families are experiencing unique challenges when it comes to their custody arrangements. New Jersey family courts recognize that some changes may require modifications to an existing parenting plan.

Substantial Change in Circumstances

In order for a custody arrangement to be modified in New Jersey, the parent filing must show that there has been a “substantial change in circumstances.” Examples may include:

  • Geographic move

  • Change in employment or work hours

  • Change in lifestyle (such as substance abuse)

Along with this, parties should know that custody laws are designed to serve the best interests of the child, and it will be a significant factor considered by the ruling judge.

How to Change Child Custody in New Jersey

With the court dockets backlogged due to closures, the best way to alter a court order is through a voluntary agreement with the other parent. Mediation can help you find a mutually acceptable agreement without having to go through the litigation process. In cases where things are not so amicable, parents can go the route of filing a motion through an attorney.

Stay-at-home provisions do not override custody orders, meaning divorced parents should continue to follow their current custody order until they have legally changed it. In the event of an emergency and your child is endangered, you may be able to obtain an emergency custody modification.

Our Chester Child Custody Lawyers are Here to Help

Family matters are never easy to deal with, especially when children are involved. In these uncertain times, you and your family need a trusted team by your side to guide you through any custody issues you are facing. If you are seeking to change your current parenting plan, we at are prepared to help.

To set up a virtual consultation, call today at .