Modification of Child Support
A look at the legal grounds for when and how do courts address the modification of child custody arrangements.
The issue of child custody is without a doubt a complicated one. Deciding where a child or children should be raised includes many complicated factors, not to mention feelings. Like most legal matters, once the case is resolved, one side will walk away disappointed; sometimes both parties walk away unhappy. However, do not fret, there is no such thing as a “final” custody order. Like the man said, the only thing that is constant, is change. Therefore, courts have structured laws that allow parents to revisit the custody arrangements.
To modify child custody, you first have to file a motion. That motion will need to provide facts sufficient to show (that have to be later proven in court) that there has (1) been a change is circumstances, (2) said change is significant & (3) that change affects the minor child(ren). Lets analyze some examples:
(a) one party moves out of state: is that a change, yes; is the change significant, maybe; does it affect the child, probably
(b) one party develops a drug problem: is that a change, yes; is the change significant, yes; does it affect the child,yes
(c) one party gets a different job with different hours: is that a change, yes; is the change significant, maybe; does it affect the child, probably
(d) the child wants to live with the other party: is that a change, maybe; is the change significant, no; does it affect the child, probably not
Granted, in each of these scenarios, the context matters extremely. In example (d) if the child wants to move because mom’s new bf is abusing him, that’s different than wanting to move because dad has a sweet new gaming system.
The other important factor is the passage of time since the matter was last in court. Though it is not technically a factor, time inevitably changes things.
If you feel like you need to revisit your custody situation, call for an appointment. I have represented families in hundreds of these cases. I’ll be glad to give you my advice on the strength of your case and on likely outcomes so you can decide for yourself if you want to revisit your child custody arrangements.