Modification Proceedings in Family Law
Over time, circumstances change as life changes. It could be a new job, a layoff, new residence, required (or voluntary) relocation to another city or state, or your former spouse is complicating things. No custody or child support order is set in stone. As long as the child is a minor, it can be modified. This is also true with some provisions in a Marital Settlement Agreement or Judgment of Divorce (although not true for all aspects of a Marital Settlement Agreement or Judgment of Divorce).
When Might Be Necessary to Modify a Court Order?
- Changing custody or access
- Changing logistics (parent plans to relocate, parent is unable to care for the child for the time being, parent is being deployed, etc.)
- Increasing or decreasing child support
- Increasing or decreasing alimony
- Terminating alimony or spousal support
Why is it Important to Take the Proper Steps to modify an order?
At times, it can be tempting for former partners and current co-parents to avoid court and attempt to solve things amongst each other without a third party involved. However, making an oral agreement about a change is rarely a good idea. In the past, handshake agreements simply do not work. All changes should be in writing and signed (and witnessed) by both parties. Remember, if it is not changed and enrolled in the court, the old order is the operative order.
While filing the agreement in court can be complicated and take some time, there is no doubt that it is the best solution for the best result. Without taking the proper steps, there is no legal protection if a partner breaks an oral agreement.
How do you modify an order?
The court that issues the original order handles modifications of the orders stemming from your divorce, custody, or child support. It is best that you do not attempt to do this alone. Filing for a modification can be an extremely difficult and confusing process. Our team knows the rules and procedures required and we can save you a lot of time and frustration.