A person can seek modification of a prior order by filing the appropriate motion in a court of continuing, exclusive jurisdiction. In order to qualify for modification, there must have been a significant change in circumstance from the time of the prior order to the time of the filing of the suit for modification. In addition, a child 12 years of age or older may express a preference to a judge in chambers of who it is they prefer to designate their primary residence.
Also, a party can seek modification of custody if they have had actual possession of the child for the past six months. Even if one of these grounds is present, the modification will not be ordered unless it is determined that it is in the best interests of the child. Some examples of circumstances that would require changing of custody would be the frequent moving of a party with possession of the child, bad performance of a child in a school setting, or the abuse of alcohol or illegal substances.
If the suit for modification is filed within a year of the prior order, then the party seeking modification must show that the present environment of the child would endanger the child’s physical health or emotional development.
Child Support Modification
A person can also seek modification of a child support order. The court will look at the income of the person seeking modification both at the time of the prior order and the time of the filing of suit and compare the two.
Usually, a person has to wait three years to file a suit to modify child support, and the amount of child support needs to differ by at least $100 or 20% of the former amount under the guidelines. A person can avoid the three year waiting period if there has been a material and substantial change in circumstance since the prior order. Some examples of this would be a job loss, health problems, or having another child.
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Law Office of John Denke
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Disclaimer: No information or materials posted here are intended to constitute legal advice, and is not applicable to any specific set of facts, especially as to any individual's personal situation. The information contained herein nor the perusal of it does not establish nor constitute an attorney-client relationship with the Firm or its Attorney.