If a custody order is already in place, can I get it changed?
Possibly. You can file to have your current custody order modified (changed) if there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances since the order was issued, and changing the order will be in the best interests of the child.* Most modification actions are brought because one parent wants to relocate to a new state or county that is far away, visitation arrangements are no longer working, or the parent who has custody is not meeting the child’s needs.**
Generally, you will file a complaint for modification at the probate and family court that issued your original custody order. The hearing may be similar to previous custody hearings, but you will have to prove a material and substantial change in circumstances has occurred.**
* M.G.L.A. 208 § 28
** Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. "Family Law Advocacy for Low and Moderate Income Litigants: Child Custody" (2008)