Divorce Modifications

A couple that divorces that has young children will, inevitably, find it necessary to return to court seeking a modification of the decree of divorce. The most common subjects of a modification are child support and custody.

Child Support

Particularly in this difficult economic time the payer of child support may need to return to court to ask that child support be reduced. It is important that such a request be filed as soon as possible so that arrearages, for which the payer may be held in contempt, do not build up. Child support can only be modified from the date the motion is filed. The court should reduce child support in accordance with the child support guidelines, so long as the obligor is not purposefully under-employed.

If the child support recipient learns that the income of the obligor has increased then the recipient can ask for an increase in child support. That increase should be granted in accordance with the child support guidelines.

Child Custody

A change in custody may be warranted based on a change in circumstances involving either child or children of the marriage or one or both of the parties.

For example, the parent with primary custody of the children is given a great job offer on the west coast and wants to move with the children. The non-custodial parent quite likely would oppose this because it would harm his relationship with the children due to lessened contact. The non-custodial parent has a right to file a motion preventing the children from being moved. The court cannot prevent the custodial parent from moving but it has the authority, based on the best interests of the children, to prevent the children from being moved and, if necessary, making the non-custodial parent the custodial parent.

While custodial parents may, under the decree of divorce, be appointed Joint Managing Conservators of the children either parent, if things are not working smoothly, may ask the court for one to be appointed managing conservator of the children and the other parent appointed to be possessory conservator of the children. It is the managing conservator who has superior legal rights over the possessory conservator.

Such a situation may occur, for example, if the life of one of the parents has deteriorated and that parent can no longer properly care for the children.

For more information on Child Support & Child Custody, click HERE.

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Texas lawyer Michael Sloan represents clients in McKinney, Plano, Frisco, and throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, in communities such as Allen, Richardson, Prosper, Wylie, Murphy, Sachse, Sherman, Denison, Bonham, Anna, Van Alstyne, Greenville, and Celina, and in Dallas County, Grayson County, Hunt County, Fannin County, Collin County and Denton County.