Modification of Current Orders

Custody

Why do you want to change who has primary custody of the children? Does the other parent agree? Do the children want to change who they live with? How old are the children? 


These are all questions you will be required to answer at our first meeting and the first time you are in front of the judge. In fact, you will answer these questions many, many times between when we first meet and when your case is finalized.


In order to change the primary custody of the children, you must have a valid reason. "Because I'm tired of paying child support," regardless of how sneaky you try to word this, will never be a reason to change custody. Unless the other parent is in agreement, you will also need a change in circumstances. This means that something changed in either your, the other parent's, or the children's circumstances. 


There is a common belief that children get to decide which parent they want to live with once they reach a certain age. This is somewhat true -- at 18, children get to decide where they want to live. At the age of 12, children may voice their preference, but the final decision is always made by the Court (or by the parents if they are in agreement). 

Visitation

Often a visitation schedule which worked when the children were 10 no longer works now that they are 15. A parent's work schedule may have drastically changed, or an older child may have additional obligations which, although not intentional, have the affect of limiting a parent's time with that child. 


Whether it's your new job or your child's new extracurricular activities or something else entirely which is limiting your access, a change to the schedule which is beneficial to all parties can be worked out. 

Child Support

Child support may be modified every 3 years, or if there is a change in income that would change the child support by $100 per rmonth. 


The first situation is simple -- if it has been at least 3 years since your child support was last reviewed, you can have it reviewed again to see if there should be a change in child support (up or down).


The second situation is only slightly more complicated. If the parent paying child support has received an increase or decrease in pay which would cause their child support to increase or decrease by at least $100 per month, you can have it reviewed again regardless of how long it has been since the child support was last modified.


In either situation, I can review your order, calculate what your current child support should be, and determine if you may file for a modification. Be sure to bring a current pay stub to your appointment or be able to answer detailed questions about your income.