Legal Solution to Changing Circumstances

Child custody modifications are a category of post-decree motions to modify custody which are judged by what is in the child's best interests. Motions to modify custody address issues such as child support, increasing/decreasing custodial time, or deal with issues which have arisen since the last entry of judgment.

When Does a Modification Occur?

In order to change a custody decree, the moving party must demonstrate to the court that a substantial and material change in circumstances has occurred since the entry of the prior decree. In a motion to modify child custody, the court’s chief and primary concern is the best interests of the child/children. In Idaho the court will consider many factors to determine whether or not a decree should be modified such as:

  • The wishes of the child’s parent or parents as to his or her custody;
  • The wishes of the child as to his or her custodian;
  • The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his or her parent or parents, and his or her siblings;
  • The child’s adjustment to his or her home, school, and community;
  • The character and circumstances of all individuals involved;
  • The need to promote continuity and stability in the life of the child; and
  • Domestic violence as defined in section 39-6303, Idaho Code, whether or not in the presence of the child.
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