Changes to a temporary custody order can be made by filing a petition for modification in court. In this case, a hearing is held and evidence for changed circumstances must be shown, states Lawyers.com. A modification may also be sought through a petition for a habeas corpus proceeding.
In decisions regarding custody, courts put a high priority on the best interest of the child, indicates Lawyers.com. For this reason, there is a burden of proof on the person seeking modification of the temporary custody papers to show substantially changed circumstances.
Acceptable changes include remarriage, improved financial circumstances, improved health and children's preferences, according to Lawyers.com. These changes must have occurred after the temporary custody order was put in place. In some cases, the person must also show evidence of a detrimental change in the other parent's circumstances.
A parent may also file a petition for a habeas corpus proceeding. In this case, the parent seeking modification has the burden of proof to show that someone is wrongfully in possession of his child. Lawyers.com states that since courts place a high priority on a stable environment for children throughout the divorce process, the chances of modifying temporary custody orders are small.