Child Custody Modification in New York

Advocating for Parents When Circumstances Change

You’ve probably heard the saying that “change is the only constant in life.” For divorced parents, a change in life circumstances may also merit the need to modify child custody agreements. At The Levoritz Law Firm in Manhattan, our knowledgeable child custody modification lawyers advise clients seeking to adjust custody arrangements. Depending upon the relationship between you and the other parent, we may be able to help you negotiate a modified custody arrangement that can then be presented to the judge for approval. If an amicable resolution is not possible, we will stand up for you in court when you have a valid reason for the change and believe it is in your child’s best interests.

Modifications to child custody agreements are not casually granted by the courts. When seeking a change, it is to your benefit to get legal guidance from the beginning of your case, especially if the other parent is opposing the modification. Our reputable Manhattan family law firm has an extensive background in successfully handling cases involving child custody modification in New York. We understand the circumstances necessary to justify a change in your custody arrangement and will work hard toward getting you a favorable result. Contact us today to arrange a consultation with an effective New York child custody attorney.

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How Do I Modify a Custody Agreement in NY?


About the Modification Process

To modify a custody agreement in New York there must be a change in circumstances since the time that the current custody arrangement was put in place. However, even with a significant change in circumstances, as was true with the initial custody agreement, the child’s needs and best interests are still the main deciding factor in whether a modification will be approved. To ask for a modification, you will file a petition to modify custody with the New York family court that issued the original custody order. With your petition, you can include your revised custody arrangement or parenting plan. A hearing will be scheduled in which you will explain to the judge about the changed circumstances and present evidence to prove circumstances have changed.

What Are Reasons to Modify Child Custody?

There are various possible grounds for child custody modification. The court will consider the following factors:

  • the original placement of the child
  • maintaining stability for the children
  • the length of time the existing custody arrangement has been in effect
  • how faithful each party has been to the original order
  • the child’s desires
  • the relative fitness of the parents and past parenting performance
  • stability
  • any abduction or defiance of legal process
  • the quality of the home environment
  • the parental guidance given the child
  • the parents’ financial status and ability of each parent to provide for the child
  • the parent’s ability to provide for the child’s emotional and intellectual development
  • ability to guide and provide for the child’s overall well-being
  • the willingness of the parent to foster a relationship between the child and the other parent
  • any domestic violence.

No matter what the reason for requesting a modification, you will have to show documentation, have witness testimony, or show other evidence that proves why you need a modification. Once you do, the judge may approve of your proposed modification, or make another change to the child custody arrangement based on what the court determines to be in a child’s best interests. Our attorneys will help you identify the proper information and evidence to present to the court to convince the judge why you need the modification and why it is in your child’s interests.


When circumstances have changed and you need to have an order modified to protect your child or preserve your relationship with him or her, get strategic legal assistance from experienced child custody modification lawyers.

Why Clients Trust Our New York Child Custody Modification Lawyers

Children’s concerns are often the most sensitive and emotional issues for people who have ended their marriage and are living separate lives. After going through divorce proceedings and initial child custody decisions, asking for a change to something that has already been decided, especially when the request could be highly contentious, may seem daunting. With skilled and compassionate legal help, the anxiety can be lessened. Our attorneys at The Levoritz Law Firm can provide that help.

About Yonatan Levoritz

Yonatan Levoritz, our firm’s founder, is a highly accomplished Manhattan matrimonial and family law attorney. Yoni founded The Levoritz Law Firm in 2005 with the goal of helping clients effectively navigate their difficult legal problems, and as his long track record of successful outcomes illustrates, he consistently meets that goal. He demonstrates his commitment to achieving satisfactory resolutions for clients by always staying up to date on current decisions, statutes, and case law in order to provide the most informed and strategic guidance possible. Yoni also publishes frequently on family law topics. He and his entire team of carefully chosen attorneys are noted not only for their skill in handling cases, but also for their legal ethics. While Yoni and his team often zealously approach cases, they always do so with respect and courtesy to all parties and sides.


New York clients rely on us to find effective solutions to their most sensitive family law problems. We will work hard on your behalf when you need to have a child custody order modified.

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New York Child Custody Modification Lawyers Answer FAQs

Here are answers to some common questions related to child custody modifications. These are general answers and do not consider the unique circumstances of individual cases. To have your unique concerns addressed, contact our Manhattan law office at (718) 942-4004 or through our online form to arrange a consultation.

  • How long do child custody orders last in New York?

    New York courts can make custody orders only until the child reaches the age of 18. Custody orders will last until that age unless the order is modified or the child becomes legally emancipated, which can be as early as 16 depending upon the situation.

  • How soon after the original order was put in place can I get a modification?

    There is no specific time period you must wait before asking for a modification. However, New York judges typically believe it is in a child’s best interests to have as much consistency and stability in their lives as possible following divorce, so they won’t easily grant a modification soon after the original order was signed. But if a material change in circumstances occurred shortly after the original order of custody or visitation was put in place, and the change negatively impacts the child and proves to be no longer in the child’s best interest, judges may agree to modifying orders.

  • How hard is it to modify child custody?

    How hard it is to modify child custody differs based on the situation. When parents agree about the modification, it can be a fairly straightforward process. Parents can present their new plan for custody to the court and if the judge feels it is in the child’s best interest, they will sign off on it and it becomes legally binding. However, if parents are in dispute about modifying custody, the process becomes much more difficult. When parents cannot agree, the one seeking the modification will have to petition the court and provide evidence as to why the present custody arrangement needs to be modified. Then parents will have to attend a court hearing where the judge will issue a decision. Between filing a petition and the hearing, evidence must be gathered proving why the change is needed. Our attorneys understand how to win a custody modification case and what evidence to collect. We will fight hard for your rights and interests.

  • Do I need an attorney for a child custody modification in New York?

    You are not required to have an attorney for a child custody modification in New York. If you and the other parent are in agreement on the modification and there is no conflict, you may simply wish to go before the judge and have the new custody plan approved, although it can be important to have an attorney review the agreement to be sure it protects your rights and interests. But, if the other parent is opposing the modification requested, you stand a much better chance of gaining a favorable outcome with legal representation. Our child custody modification lawyers understand family law and the evidence needed to be successful in court. Call us to learn how our representation can help you by dialing (718) 942-4004.


Every child custody modification is different. Contact The Levoritz Law Firm directly to have your specific concerns addressed.

Either parent can ask for and be granted a modification to a child custody order. We help both mothers and fathers in child custody modification proceedings who wish to alter custody in their child’s best interests because of a material change in circumstances. As mentioned before, getting a modification is not a simple process, especially if parents are not in agreement. You can give yourself the best chance of having an order changed with strong legal counsel. Call (718) 942-4004 to learn how our law firm can help you.

Wondering How to Win a Custody Modification Case?

Reach Out to Our Child Custody Modification Lawyers


When the custody of your children is affected, you should not settle for anything less than an attorney who is focused on winning. Our New York lawyer is a zealous advocate for the rights and interests of family law clients and will not back down in pursuing a decision that goes in your favor. Whether you are seeking a change to a custody order or disputing a modification petition filed by the other parent, you can rely on our law firm to provide top-quality legal representation.


Our law firm practices exclusively in family and matrimonial law. By concentrating in a single area of the law, we can stay abreast of changes in the law, judicial precedent and recent decisions in child custody modification cases. Additionally, our attorneys know the judges and other legal professionals who practice in the city’s family courts. This knowledge allows us to anticipate how cases we handle may progress and helps us in advising clients about strategies that can benefit them in child custody modification proceedings.


Conflicts over child custody are among the most difficult problems families can experience. These conflicts affect parents, children and other close relatives who are concerned about children’s welfare. Our compassionate lawyers understand all the sensitivities and ramifications of custody disputes and how making changes to orders that were already decided can cause conflicts to arise again. We know change is never easy and when it potentially impacts your bonds with your children, it’s normal to feel anxious and confused. When you hire our Manhattan law firm to represent you, you can count on us to work with you empathetically, while zealously standing up for your rights and interests and those of your child.


The wrong decision when it comes to a child custody modification can reverberate throughout your relationship with your child. The Levoritz Law Firm is committed to your interests. When we take your case, we will fight hard for you.

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    New York City


    140 Broadway, 46th Floor
    New York, NY 10005
    (718) 942-4004


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