Many court orders have the ability to be modified by a judge if the correct circumstances are met. The judge will need to see some evidence of a significant change in circumstances that necessitates an alteration to your existing court order. These rulings can have serious implications for your life, so it is in your best interest to be properly prepared by hiring a Glendale order modification lawyer.
This means hiring an attorney to guide you through your case. Family law can be a complicated subject, particularly for those who are unfamiliar with it. Working with a lawyer who has experience in family law will help you clear up any confusion and determine the best path forward for your circumstances.
At Monahan Law Firm, we will bring our legal experience to bear to prepare your case and build an aggressive argument for your order modification. Call us today or schedule an appointment online to get started with us today!
What Types of Family Law Orders Can Be Modified?
The circumstances leading up to a family law court order are often ever-changing and complicated. This rarely changes just because a court order has been issued. Fortunately, Arizona law includes provisions that allow for the modification of court orders under particular conditions.
The particulars will vary from one case to the next, but in general, this may include:
Modifications to Child Custody
Child custody, or legal decision-making, cases in Arizona can be complicated proceedings, with the judge taking in an enormous amount of information before passing judgment. The goal in these cases is to promote and protect the best interests of the minor child.
In order to create or modify an existing custody order, the judge will need to hear about the family life including the physical and mental health of the parents and child, any history of domestic violence or abuse, the proximity of each parent's primary residence to the child's school, friends, and other families, etc.
Modifications to Parenting Time
Due to the ever-changing nature of life, requests to modify a parenting time arrangement are among the most common. These requests are often made following a significant change in the lives of either parent or the child, including medical issues that prevent a parent from providing an appropriate level of care, one parent moving for a new job opportunity while it is in the child's best interest to stay, or simply the child maturing and having more opportunity to influence their environment.
Modifications to Spousal Maintenance
Modifying a spousal maintenance agreement is not always allowed, so you may want to consult with an experienced attorney if you intend to alter yours. In general, you will need to show proof of a significant and lasting change in circumstances in order to have your modification request approved.
This can include a loss of job or income impacting your ability to meet your obligation, a change in insurance costs or a loss of coverage can be a significant event that warrants a change in your spousal maintenance agreement, or similar situations that can have a major impact on your finances.
Modifications to Child Support
No different than the other areas, modifying an existing child support agreement will require you to demonstrate a meaningful change in circumstances that justifies a change to the order.
You are unlikely to be granted a child support modification unless the change you report is substantial, so you may want an attorney to review your case before filing your application to ensure you have the best chance you can at succeeding.
It is usually in your best interest to work with an experienced lawyer regardless of which family law modification you apply for. Whether you are hoping for a modification of child support payments or if you are attempting to change your child visitation schedule, a modification attorney will know the common pitfalls you will face and can help you avoid them.
Why Would a Family Law Order Be Modified?
Life never stays the same for long; new career opportunities, relationships, or other unexpected factors come along. Arizona law acknowledges this by allowing modifications to family court orders.
Changing circumstances can necessitate changes in your custody agreement, child support payment, or other standing court order.
There are any number of possible reasons why you might apply to have a court order modified, but some common examples include:
- Changes in child support payments may be needed if either parent loses their job or if the child falls ill and requires significant medical care
- Changes in child custody or visitation agreements may be needed if one parent moves away from the area or if either parent develops an illness and is no longer capable of providing the necessary care for the child
- Changes in alimony payments may be needed if either parent has a significant change in income, or they may even be terminated if the parent receiving payments has remarried
How Do You Apply for an Order Modification?
The specifics of modifying a court order change depending on the type of order you intend to modify. In general, however, you will need to fill out and file the appropriate petition with the court. If you and your ex agree on the modification it can be much simpler, as the court can simply approve the change and set it as the new court order.
If you are in disagreement things can get much more complicated, you will need to file your petition and await your court date to present your argument to the judge. It may be in your best interest to seek legal advice from a qualified attorney throughout this process to help you avoid common mistakes and build the strongest case possible for your hearing.
Do You Need a Lawyer to Modify an Order?
Strictly speaking, no. Family law attorneys are not required to modify a court order. That being said there is a myriad of issues you may face throughout the process and without the guidance of an experienced family law attorney, you will likely face numerous setbacks along the way.
By working with a qualified legal team you not only avoid unnecessary mistakes and make the process easier, but you also increase your likelihood of being granted the modification you are looking for.
Requests for court order modifications often come in the middle of difficult times for people. By working with our award-winner law firm, you can save yourself from unneeded stress in addition to wasted time and money.
At Monahan Law Firm, we have the expertise you will need to successfully navigate your modification request. Our talented attorneys are ready to help you build the strongest possible case.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your initial case consultation.