Modifications & Enforcement of Family Law Orders
Have you (or your ex) experienced a significant change in your (or their) circumstances? If either of you has had a change in income, remarried, or now find the need to alter support or custody arrangements, then it’s well within your right to petition the court for a modification to your support and/or custody orders.
All too often, ex-spouses/co-parents will make an oral agreement regarding changes to their original support and/or custody orders. However, we strongly advise against this, as a verbal agreement is nearly impossible to enforce. If your ex-partner verbally agrees to a modification, they can change their mind at any time for any reason (or no reason at all), and you have no recourse other than to pursue the modification(s) through the courts.
While it can be tempting to make an agreement on a handshake, a legally approved modification is enforceable. This protects you and/or your former partner, should the agreement be broken.
Spousal Support / Alimony Modifications
A modification to spousal support may be appropriate when there is an increase or decrease in the income of one or both parties. For example, if the paying party has lost his/her job or received a decrease in pay, or if the receiving party obtains a significant pay raise or remarries, then a modification may be warranted.
Child Support Modifications
A modification to child support may be important to pursue when the costs of caring for the child change substantially. For example, this could occur if the child falls ill and requires significant medical care, or if one of the parents experiences a change in income. In these cases, it may be necessary to recalculate support in order to ensure that each party is contributing their fair share to the costs associated with the child.
Child Custody & Visitation Modifications
Modifications to child custody and visitation may be warranted for many reasons. These include, for example, when one parent is relocating or changing their work schedule, or when a parent’s health affects their ability to care for the child. It could also include changes in the relationship between a parent and a child, or when a parent is no longer able to provide a safe and nurturing environment for the child.
Enforcement of Court Orders
Regardless of the reason for seeking a support or custody modification, it’s important to pursue it through the proper channels. A verbal agreement may seem adequate, but only a court approved modification can be enforced.
Just as with your original support and/or custody orders, the courts have a variety of tools at their disposal to enforce a modification that has been broken by one or both parties. These remedies can include suspension of a driver’s license, revocation of professional or state-issues licenses, liens, or even incarceration.
Get The Experienced Help You Need
Whether you’re seeking a modification or the enforcement of an existing order, or you’re on the other side of the matter, you deserve an experienced family law attorney who can protect your rights. Contact Saltzgiver & Boyle today to speak with a seasoned modifications & enforcement lawyer about your situation…