After a divorce or after a child custody case, there are certain things that can later be changed. This is called a Modification. When children are involved, the court maintains jurisdiction to modify pretty much any order regarding the children. This includes orders for visitation, custody and child support.
Remember, when it comes to custody or visitation the parents can do whatever they want as long as they both agree. When there is no agreement you must follow the court orders. Sometimes the previous court orders are no longer workable or there has been a substantial change in circumstances and one party wants to change part of the previous court order. This is very broad and is truly a case by case basis. There is usually some event that signals the need for a change. This can be an incident of abuse or neglect, including drug abuse, intoxication when the children are present, or certain criminal actions. Perhaps one parent has a new job that requires evening shifts, or any number of substantial changes in circumstances. Maybe the visitation needs to be supervised for a time, or there needs to be a complete change in primary custody. Remember, when the child turns 12, we can require the judge to interview the child to determine the child’s wishes, and the judge has to consider, but not necessarily follow the child’s wishes. Give Attorney Chip Parker a call to see if a modification if something to go after.
You cannot just have an agreement with the other parent to raise or lower the child support. The amount legally owed remains the same unless the order is actually modified. When the parent that is responsible for paying child support has a material and substantial change in financial circumstances the child support amount can be modified. A child support order can be modified after three years or if the changed amount would be a 20% difference or a $100.00 difference. It can also be modified if the person required to pay child support has another child, which would decrease the percentage. The child support can be increased or decreased depending on the circumstance. Talk to Attorney Chip Parker to find out if a change in support should be made.
Just like starting a case from the beginning, the court can enter temporary orders while the modification action is pending.