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Modification of Custody or Support Orders

In order to modify an existing custody, visitation or support order,  the party seeking the modification has the burden of proving that a material change in circumstances has occurred since the entry of the last order or decree. If a material change is shown, the court will then evaluate the individual facts and circumstances of the case and determine if modification is in the best interests of the children. It is usually  best to try and resolve these types of issues through negotiation and mediation if at all possible. However, The Law Office of Karen L. Vervaecke  prepares each and every case for trial and is fully prepared to litigate if necessary.

Events leading to post-decree modification often  include:

  • A parent's work schedule changes, making an adjustment in a parenting time schedule necessary if the parent is to continue to have substantial time with the child;
  • The child's development indicates that it would be to the child's benefit to spend more time with one parent than what the current child custody decree provides;
  • The child has reached an age where the court will take into consideration the child's preference as far as living arrangements;
  • A change in one parent's income indicates a material change in child support;
  • Parental relocation out of state necessitates an adjustment in the terms of joint custody or visitation schedules;
  • The primary custodial parent wants to relocate out of state with the child, and the other parent objects to removal of the child from the jurisdiction; or
  • A change in the circumstances of an ex-spouse indicates a change in alimony/spousal support.

Alimony/spousal support modifications also require the moving party to prove a material change of circumstances has occurred since the entry of the divorce or last order.