Circumstances change in life. Whether it be six months after the Court Order on your divorce or custody was given or ten years, there may be reason to get it modified.
Reasons to Modify your Divorce Decree or Custody Order
1. Significant change in Income.
- This may change the child support that was ordered.
2. One of the parents moved.
- If parents have joint physical care (meaning the child stays with one parent 50% of the time and the other parent 50% of the time), this may prove impossible if the one parent moves a certain distance away. This would require the custody order to be changed
- If one parent has physical care, travel for visitation may not be agreed upon.
3. One of the parents are not following the Order.
- If the Court ordered parents to have joint physical care, but one parent is refusing to take the child for their share of the time, a modification might be necessary.
- Sometimes, one parent may only want joint physical care to avoid paying child support. Once the Court gives them custody for 50% of the time and limited or no child support, that parent might only want the child 10% of the time. That is not joint physical care and therefore the parent with the child 90% of the time should get a modification that gives him or her primary physical care and adjusts child support accordingly.
4. Another material change in circumstances.
- If there has been a change of circumstances since the time of your last custody decree, and the change is significant and permanent, a modification may be warranted.
- If you are seeking to change physical care, you must show that you have superior parenting skill and will facilitate the other parent having a relationship with your child.
5. If both of you agree to change your custody order, you can stipulate to a change of circumstances.