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Circumstances can change for divorced parents, making court-ordered child support orders and parenting plans difficult or impossible to maintain. If you are a parent in the Greater Spokane Area who is facing such a situation, your best option is to enlist the services of a competent family law attorney who has experience handling this type of case.
Call our office at (509) 327-0777 or contact us online for a free consultation about your case.
A parent who wishes to modify a current parenting plan must prove that a substantial change in circumstances has occurred which makes the modification necessary. The change must be in the best interests of the child. For significant changes, the parent seeking the modification must request and appear at a hearing. At the hearing, both parents are allowed to make their case in support of or in opposition to the proposed change.
Courts will generally allow a modification to a parenting plan if:
When an ex-spouse requests a parenting plan modification in bad faith, the court may order that they pay the attorney’s fees and court costs for the other party. However, failing to demonstrate adequate cause on its own is not considered bad faith.
Modifications to child support (26.09.170) may also be sought when significant changes in circumstances have occurred for one or both parents. Examples of circumstantial changes may include:
As children get older, their needs change, which can lead to a substantial change in the parents’ expenses. Depending on the circumstances, this could be enough to trigger a child support modification. Whatever the reason for the proposed change, the reasons behind the request must be legitimate. For instance, the court will not approve a reduction in child support if the support payor is deliberately unemployed or underemployed. Additionally, even when future child support payments are modified, any unpaid child support from the non-custodial spouse cannot be decreased or increased.
Spousal support can be modified by either party. Typically, one party either requests more support or asks to pay less. The payor may no longer have the means to continue the payments. Or, the lower-earning spouse’s financial situation may have improved since the order was made. Parties may additionally seek to modify the duration of support or request to terminate it altogether. In contrast, the custodial spouse may seek additional spousal support or an extended period of support. Factors that can modify spousal support include:
While these are some of the most commonly cited changed circumstances that often call for a modification of spousal support, for a better understanding of whether or not your specific circumstances warrant a spousal support/maintenance modification, speak with an attorney.
If you want to know if your situation would merit a change in a prior court order, it is best to have your cased evaluated by a knowledgeable and experienced Spokane modifications lawyer. They will then be able to tell you whether or not it is in your best interest to pursue a change. Like other family law-related matters, modifications can be realized without the need for court hearings and trials through mediation, arbitration, and the collaborative law process. These options are often less expensive than going to court and a strong advocate negotiating on your behalf will likely be effective in having your matters resolved in a timely manner.
A divorce attorney will also recognize that sometimes going to court and getting in front of a judge is the only way modifications of court orders and other family law-related matters will be settled. In such a situation, you will already have hired a skilled lawyer who will be ready to assist you in the courtroom.
Our firm has concentrated on family law for decades, which gives us an edge when it comes to handling your case. We strive to produce the results you seek but will always give you honest communication as to what to expect. Our goal is excellence in legal service, and that is what you can expect from our Spokane divorce attorneys. Get the help you need today by calling Twyford Law Office at (509) 327-0777.