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Modifying child support or custody arrangements

One very important aspect of divorce for many parents is the decision on child support and custody rights. Sometimes, the court's decision on these matters no longer works if your life and circumstances change. It is possible to modify child support or custody decrees if there is a valid reason to do so.

Modifying child support

Child support can be modified if a change in your circumstances affects your ability to support your child(ren). A support modification must be brought before a judge, even if both you and your ex-spouse come to an agreement about new terms.

There are two types of child support modification: temporary and permanent.

Temporary modifications are ordered for a set period of time until your circumstances return to normal or allow you to make payments as you did before. An example of a temporary modification situation would be medical issues you must pay for, or loss of a job, which would hinder you financially until you could find more employment.

Permanent modifications are permanent, as the name implies, unless a later circumstance requires another modification. This could be because of a permanent disability you acquired, permanent changes in the child's needs, or even a change in child support law. This could also include remarriage, which could put the remarried party into a position in which they could support their child even more.

Modifying custody arrangements

Custody arrangements can not only be modified by a parent's request, but also by the court at any time. There must, however, be a reason for modification and an arrangement will not be changed unless the change is in the child's best interest. Custody arrangements are harder to modify than child support.

Some examples of circumstance changes that could require a custody modification are one parent moving to another state or income level drastically changing.

Custody can also be modified if one party breaks the terms of custody or the child is in danger. This could be cases in which a parent keeps the child longer than they are supposed to or there are signs/evidence of physical or emotional abuse.

Modifying divorce agreements can be complicated and the system can be difficult to navigate. A skilled family law attorney can assist you with the process and work toward the best outcome for you and your child if you are seeking modifications.

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