Modifying Orders

Circumstances change over time and it often becomes necessary or appropriate to seek to modify the amount of child support or alimony that you are paying or receiving or to adjust parenting timeshares as children get older or begin new schools. Particularly in these economic times, people’s financial lives are changing rapidly. With regard to support awards, if you are a payor of a child or spousal support your orders remain in effect no matter whether you have less income or no income today as compared to when the orders issued unless and until you file a motion or order to show cause application to modify them.

In order to succeed in modifying certain types of orders, the law requires that a “material change of circumstance” has occurred since the time the last order was issued. Courts are reluctant to modify recent orders, and parties who claim that circumstances have changed when they are really just dissatisfied with the court’s orders rarely achieve what they hope. And, the passage of time is generally not itself enough to qualify you for a change. Other orders which are temporary don’t carry with them this burden of proof of changed circumstance. As a nonfamily law expert, you are not likely to know the difference, but the courts always treat you as though you did. To achieve a modification you need expert assistance in setting up the grounds for what you want to change and the evidence that justifies that change.

We would be pleased to consult with you about the specific facts of your situation and help evaluate whether this is the best time to seek a change in the existing orders. Contact us today for a consultation!…

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