After a divorce is finalized, and if the couple has children, they will receive court orders specifying who has custody of the children, how visitation will proceed, and how much child support is to be paid. These orders remain in effect until the children reach the age of 18. However, life circumstances can change, making it difficult to adhere to the order. If you need to modify your child custody or child support order, here’s what to do.
In many cases, two parents will find themselves no longer able to adhere to the custody orders issued by a Missouri family court. Whether one parent has had a job change and needs to relocate, or the child is no longer safe with one parent, it may become necessary to have the custody orders modified.
It is critical that you never relocate with your child or prevent your child from seeing the other parent until you have formally applied for and have been granted a modification. In emergency situations where your child is in danger, you do have fast legal options. In other cases, you could be penalized for going against your original court order if you do anything before a modification has legally been put in place.
In situations where one or both parents’ material circumstances have changed, it may no longer be beneficial to the family to follow the original child support orders. For example, if the non-custodial parent and child support payor loses his or her job or is demoted, it would be a financial strain to continue to pay the same amount in child support.
The payor can seek a modification through the court to have the amount of child support changed during times of economic hardship. Similarly, if the child support payor gets a new job or receives a raise, the recipient of child support also can request a modification in an effort to have the child support raised to reflect the new income.
The most important thing you can do when your child custody or child support orders need to be modified is to contact a skilled family lawyer for assistance. At the Law Office of Mark Haefner, we understand the challenges presented to daily life after a divorce. We know that in many cases, modifying a child support or child custody order is necessary for the benefit of the family. We can help you properly apply for a modification and can guide you through the legal process to ensure that you receive the most favorable result possible with your case.
Call today for a consultation at (314) 200-6101.