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How To Get A Court Order Modification

Petitioning a family law court for a modification in a custody or support order is not a guarantee that it will be approved, even if both parents agree. Generally, a one-year wait after the initial child custody order has been determined is necessary before either parent can petition for a modification of custody.

At Brandon Gardner & Associates in Grand Rapids, you will find family law attorneys who know how to pitch your side of the case favorably to the court in support of your rights and interests.

Modifying Custody And Support Orders

Before addressing the question of when modifying child custody is appropriate, let’s review some of the key factors that figure into an initial child custody order. These factors may include the following:

  • Affectionate ties between the child and each parent; the capacity of each parent to give love to the child, provide food, clothing and medical care
  • The stability to date of the child’s satisfactory environment with one or both parents
  • The permanence of the existing or proposed home(s) the child will live in
  • The moral fitness, mental and physical health of both parents
  • School records and other documentation of the child’s well-being to date
  • The willingness and ability of both parents to facilitate an ongoing relationship between the child and the other parent
  • The child’s preference as to whether they will live most of the time if a family court judge considers them old enough to weigh in on this decision

When individual circumstances related to any of these factors change substantially for either or both parents and/or in the child’s life, there may be valid reasons – legally called proper cause – to petition a family court to modify the custody order. For example, one parent may be:

  • Consistently absent from their home
  • Abusing drugs or alcohol
  • Abusing or neglecting their child

If we represent you in your child custody modification case, we will attempt to help you prove that there is a justifiable reason for a change in custody. If possible, we will try to help you arrive at an agreement with the other parent before petitioning the court to make a change. Agreement between the parents can help improve the chances of approval of a petition, although it does not guarantee approval.

A parent may ask for a review of child support every three years or whenever there are substantial enough changes in income and other factors to warrant reconsideration.

Since spousal support orders are typically associated with property division, they can be hard to change. However, modification of a spousal support order may be appropriate if hidden assets have come to light or if the recipient spouse has entered into a new marriage or cohabiting relationship. If you believe any such reason exists in your case, ask one of our attorneys to review the facts and advise you accordingly.

Contact Brandon Gardner & Associates, PLC, In Grand Rapids

Ask for a case review whenever you believe there are reasons to seek a modification in a child custody, child support or spousal support order.

Call 616-366-9045 or send an email inquiry to request a free consultation.