Over time, people and circumstances change. If you have been through a divorce, paternity or other support matter in the past and now you find yourself in a situation that you cannot continue to keep the previous agreement or Court Order, you may be able to request a modification.
Likewise, you may be a person who has just received a request for modification from the other parent or ex-spouse and you need to assets the merits of their request.
Generally, modification requests should be due to a significant and “permanent” change. For example, being unemployed for a few days is not likely going to convince a judge that child support should be reduced or terminated.
Modifications can be complex and each situation is different. A judge will consider many things when considering modifications.
Examples of Common Modifications
Modification of Child Support
- A permanent loss or gain in earning capacity by one or both parents.
- The other parent is no longer participating in the children’s lives as they once did (or agreed to do) and now you have a larger responsibility for the children that requires more support.
- A child turning 18 years old, becoming an adult, and no longer requiring the support they once did.
- Health problems with you or a child.
- Changes in expenses related to your children’s health and welfare such as health insurance, day care or out of pocket medical costs.
- and others.
Modification of Alimony
- Remarriage or a substantial supportive relationship of the receiver of alimony may justify a change in alimony.
- A significant health issue, retirement or career set-back
- and others.
Modification of Time-Sharing or Parenting Plan
- Career changes that affect your or the other parent’s ability to abide by the previous agreement.
- Children’s activities may make it necessary to change the time-sharing arrangement.
- Circumstances prevent you or the other party from keeping the previous arrangement.
- You may need to relocate.
- If you feel your child(ren) may be in danger. An example would be recent criminal conduct of the other party or a threatened or actual abduction of the child(ren) preventing your time-sharing.
- and others.
Parental Relocation with a Minor Child
- If you or the other parent intend to relocate more than 50 miles away you must file a written request with the court and the other parent. You can obtain permission by agreement of the other parent or by a request from the court. The parent relocating needs to demonstrate that the relocation is in the best interest of the child.
- Objections to relocation requests. If you have been notified formally or informally that the other party intends to relocate and you do not agree or feel it is in the best interest of your child.
Contempt or Enforcement
Sometimes a Modification is not the correct legal path. For example, in some cases where someone has been ordered to pay you support, but is refusing to pay or does not pay at all, this may be a ‘contempt’ matter that can be addressed with a less expensive motion.
Get Experienced Advice About Support and Time-Sharing Modification
If you have been served with a request for modification or you find yourself in situation that you feel requires a change in a Court Order or agreement that you have previously arranged, please contact us and set up a consultation to meet with one of our experienced attorney’s. In order to provide you with comprehensive options we will need to discuss your matter with you in detail.