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Bristol Palin's ex reportedly to seek full custody of child

Even after a court order has been entered, it is possible to seek modifications to a child custody agreement under certain circumstances. Like most other custody-related issues, whether or not a modification is given will depend on the judge's perception of the best interests of the child. It is important that litigants in family law cases in Colorado understand what is and is not a reason to change a custody agreement.

With these issues in mind, Coloradans may be interested in a recent interview with Levi Johnston, the now famous ex-beau of Bristol Palin. Johnston stated that he will seek full custody of his son in response to televised footage from Palin's reality show, "Life's a Tripp." Apparently, this footage showed bad behavior on the part of the couple's toddler, including swearing. This has led to widespread media speculation about Palin's childrearing abilities.

In many cases, after a custody dispute is finalized, one parent may feel that the other parent is not a good influence on the child. If parents in Colorado feel that their child custody order should be modified, they will almost certainly need the help of a family law attorney. Judges are usually reluctant to change a custody order unless there are specific circumstances that could negatively impact the child, so a parent seeking a modification will need to show strong evidence that the current custodial situation is harming the child.

In this case, Johnston will have to show that the trauma of an abrupt custody change will be less harmful to his son than for the boy to stay in the primary care of Palin. Usually the noncustodial parent will have to show neglect or abuse to convince the judge to change the order, and a toddler's poor behavior alone is unlikely to effect that change. Though the behavior of a child may be taken into account, the judge will usually want to see clear evidence that the custodial parent is causing the poor behavior.

Source: Huffington Post, "Levi Johnston Slams Bristol Palin's Parenting, Wants Full Custody Of Son," Aug. 6, 2012

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