Current Custody Orders Not Working? 4 Reasons Why They Might Need Modification

If you have children, custody and support issues might be the most difficult part of your divorce. If you and your spouse aren't communicating well, or the divorce is not amicable, you might need a judge to intervene in the final custody and support orders.

Once those orders are in place, it's important that you honor them to the best of your ability. However, there may be a few reasons why you need to go back to court to modify those orders. Here are a few of those reasons.

Changes in Living Expenses or Income

When a judge determines child support, the current income and living situations are taken into consideration. Unfortunately, circumstances can change quickly. Things like illness, unemployment or other changes in income can create the need for support modifications. If you're facing any of the following circumstances, you may want to have the support order modified.

  • Illness of child – medical issues may require additional income to provide for your child's needs

  • Increased Income – if the non-custodial parent has experienced an increase in income, it may justify an increase in the amount of the monthly support payment

  • Unemployment – if you're the non-custodial parent and you've recently lost your job, you may be able to have your ordered child support payments reduced until you can find new employment

Current Orders Not Being Honored

Children need to have consistency in their lives. If the other parent is not honoring the custody or visitation orders, you may want to have the orders modified. This is particularly true if the other parent is not visiting your child as agreed upon, or if they're late returning your child from visits.

Suspected Abuse

If you suspect that your child is being abused, it's important that you speak to an attorney about having the custody and visitation orders changed. You should also contact local law enforcement, especially if there is evidence of abuse. Be sure that you have sufficient evidence to support the accusations of abuse. In some cases, unfounded claims may result in your own custody and visitation being affected.

Parent/Child Conflicts

Sometimes, a change of custody may be necessary to rectify parent/child conflicts. If you or the other parent are experiencing conflicts with your child, it may benefit all of you to change the custody arrangements for a while. This may require you and your former spouse to set aside your personal differences. But changing orders can help both you and your child, especially if conflicts are interfering with your relationship.

Children need consistency in their lives. Custody and visitation orders are designed to create that consistency. If you're having difficulties with your current custody agreement, be sure to contact a family law attorney, like those at Leonard & Kershaw, as soon as possible.