Modifications Lawyer in Fresno Helping You Modify Existing Court Orders
In family law cases, court orders are often issued, such as orders for child custody and visitation, child support, or spousal support. As the years go on, what may have been appropriate at the time of your divorce or other family court case may no longer serve the best interests of you or your children. When circumstances change significantly, you can file for a modification to earlier court orders in hopes of getting the court order re-written to better fit you or your child’s current needs.
Court orders are strongly protected, and getting a modification can be a lengthy and complicated process, involving lots of paperwork. Let an experienced modifications attorney from Bains Law Offices help you through the court system while taking the paperwork burden off your shoulders to get you the best possible outcome for your modifications case. Call our Fresno office today at 559-890-1007
What are Common Reasons For Modifications?
The court will look for what it believes are “significant changes in circumstances” when granting modifications to earlier family court orders, such as child support obligations, child custody, or alimony payments. What that means can be open to interpretation by the judge and is different in every case, but some common changes that may be considered significant are a change in a child’s age that makes an earlier order obsolete, a change in one or both parents’ income, a residential move, a change in work schedules, a change in one or both parents’ health status, a child’s preference if the child is of appropriate age to make a custody choice or other changes that may make a current court order inappropriate for current circumstances.
More unfortunate significant changes in circumstances might include a parent’s new or worsening drug or alcohol addiction, domestic violence, incarceration, or even death. At any time that one parent has become incapable of providing for a child’s physical, mental, or emotional needs, a modification should be considered.
What if the Parties Agree on the Modification?
It is possible to obtain a modification without going to court if both parties agree on the changes. The new agreement must be written and signed by both parties and submitted to the court for review. If it is approved and signed by the judge, the new agreement becomes legally enforceable, just as the original order was. It is still important to have the guidance of an experienced modifications lawyer, even if both parties agree, as the lawyer will have the knowledge and experience to negotiate a mutually-agreeable modification, write up the new plan in a way that the court is more likely to accept, and avoid loopholes that could potentially be exploited to violate the spirit of the agreement.
What if the Parties Cannot Agree?
When one party wants a modification to a previous court order for child custody, child support, or spousal maintenance and the other party doesn’t, the party wanting the modification must ask a court to grant it. A significant change in circumstances must be proven, and the case must go before a judge who will decide whether or not to grant the modification. In certain cases, an emergency modification is needed. If a custodial parent is about to go to jail, for example, and will not be present to care for the child, there may not be time for all the steps involved in a regular modification case.
In a case like this, an emergency motion can be filed with the court by the other parent in hopes of quick action on the modification. If you are in conflict with another party about the need to modify a previous court order, you may need representation and solid legal advice. Our experienced modifications attorneys stand ready to help you navigate your modification case. Call Bains Law Offices today at 559-890-1007 to get started.
Why Hire a Modifications Attorney?
When you need a change to a court order, there are several complicated steps involved., even if both parties agree to the modification. Whether you need to file a new, mutually-acceptable modification with the court for approval, or you need to fight in court for the modification you need, an accomplished modifications lawyer can guide you through the tangled maze of the court system and help you to get the best results possible in your modifications case.