Legal Information: Idaho


November 4, 2021

Can I ask the judge to change the custody order after it is issued?

If you want to change your order, you can file a petition for modification. However, you have to prove to the judge that there has been a substantial and material change in your circumstances and the change requested is in the child’s best interests.

However, if there has only been a brief period of time since the order was issued, the judge may not agree to modify your order unless it’s to correct a clerical error in the order. There isn’t a specific amount of time that you need to wait before you can file a modification petition, though. Whether the judge agrees to hear your case could depend on the individual judge, the type of modification requested, whether both parents are in agreement as to the modification or not, and other factors.1

Exceptions are made for military servicemembers, however, when the modification request is due to a parent’s military deployment. For example, a judge can temporarily modify an existing child custody order during the period of deployment and then conduct an expedited or emergency hearing once the deployment ends.2

Note: If the judge believes that a modification petition is filed purely to annoy or harass the other party, the judge will order the petitioner to pay the attorney’s fees and costs of the other party.3

1 See Instructions for Filing a Modification Petition on the Idaho Courts website
2 I.C. § 32-720
3 I.C. § 32-718

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