Even after you have received an order for child custody, visitation, or support, it is likely that you or the other party will seek a change or modification. It is first important to understand whether the current orders are temporary or permanent ones. This will have a direct impact on the ability to seek a modification.
An order for child support is the exception to this rule, and it can be modified at any time. Although a change in circumstances may not be required, it is imperative that parties routinely review their orders since a judge cannot make any changes until a request to do so is filed with the Court.
Child Custody & Visitation
Custody and Visitation orders are modifiable so long as a child is minor. If there is a permanent order in place, then the party asking for a modification must show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances before the Court will listen to the parent’s requested change(s). However, if there are no orders, or if the ones issued are deemed “temporary,” then a parent seeking a change may not have to show a change in circumstances.
The ability of a spouse to obtain a modification of their spousal support amount will depend on the language in the previous order. Unlike child support, parties to a divorce action can decide to prevent any changes to spousal support in the future, or can even ask the Court to terminate its power to order spousal support altogether. Each case and the existing order must be carefully reviewed to determine whether any modification can occur.
The provisions in a Judgment concerning property rights cannot be modified.