When is modification necessary in the first place?
Backing up, we should explain that modification of child custody or support orders can be appropriate for a number of reasons. Your child’s needs may have changed considerably recently, for instance. Parental lives can change too, which could affect parenting responsibilities and financial resources.
In some cases, the passage of time could be reason enough to seek modification if an order no longer reflects current circumstances. Modification may also be justified if an existing order is no longer in the child’s best interests.
How to modify an order for support or custody
To modify an order, parties must file a Motion with the courts. Details for requesting support modification can be found here, while information on modifying a custody order can be found here.
Understand, though, that you must secure court approval to modify an exiting order. Even if both parents agree to a modification, it is not valid until the court gives its approval.
Why it’s important to do this properly
Too many parents make the mistake of informally adjusting support or custody plans themselves. Or, they assume that a proposed modification is minor and does not need court approval. However, these assumptions could jeopardize not only your rights as a parent, but also your freedom if a court finds you in contempt.
As such, it is imperative that you navigate the proper legal channels regarding modifications with the guidance of an attorney. Doing so can ensure you avoid costly mistakes and do not put your child’s well-being or your parental rights in jeopardy.