As family dynamics and the needs of children change over time, the need may arise to modify the divorce Judgment to ensure that it continues to protect the children’s best interests. If a significant change in circumstances has occurred since the last order was entered, a party may file to modify custody or parenting time. If the parties agree to a change in parenting time or custody, I can prepare a written order for both parties to sign, which the Judge will most often approve.
DETROIT AND ROYAL OAK-AREA SUPPORT MODIFICATION LAWYER
I have been a family law attorney for more than 35 years and am skilled at helping parties pursue their rights through modification of divorce judgments. When parties agree to a change in custody or parenting time, I can help prepare a written order which the judge will most often approve, keeping attorney fees to a minimum. Where there is disagreement between the parties, I can facilitate cooperation and lay the groundwork for a successful outcome for my client.
IS YOUR SITUATION ELIGIBLE FOR MODIFICATION?
Issues pertaining to children are allowed to be revisited in Michigan due to the expectation that factors such as child care costs, health care expenses and other needs of the child will change between the divorce and a child reaching adulthood. However, there is a threshold of proof that must be crossed by the parent seeking modification.
If there has been a significant change in circumstances since the time of your divorce, including changes in incomes of the parties, you may be eligible to have the court revisit these issues and order a change in the court order. Other factors, such as whether there is an Established Custodial Environment for the child, can have a significant impact in how the court will rule.
Issues of child custody and parenting time are a common cause of discord in divorces involving children. While there may not be much agreement throughout the course of a divorce, one thing is certain: engaging in a hostile custody battle is rarely in the best interests of children, who are often harmed by the emotional fall-out of the fight.
Except in rare circumstances, custody and parenting-time issues are best resolved amicably in a collaborative fashion. I bring more than 35 years of experience to these cases and focus on making arrangements that respect the rights of both parents while keeping a watchful eye on what is best for the children.
DETROIT AND ROYAL OAKS VISITATION ATTORNEY
One question will form the basis for any child custody and parenting-time arrangement: What is in the best interest of the children? As long as parents can agree to a parenting schedule that works in terms of logistics and allows both parents to stay close to their children, the judge is likely to approve the plan.
I focus on identifying the needs of parents and their children and work diligently to craft an agreement that is tailored to their unique circumstances. By minimizing conflict in these cases, parents can save a significant amount of money compared to litigation while protecting their children from the emotional damage that can occur in a protracted custody fight.
Most parents have every intention of paying the child support they have been ordered to pay as part of their divorce judgment. But a change in circumstances can result in the inability to pay or the inability to pay as much as before. Parents who have lost their job or encountered another significant change in circumstances have options for resolving the situation before enforcement actions become imminent.
Parents can file to modify child support if they are no longer able to pay the same amount of child support. If they have already fallen behind, they can seek to establish a repayment plan that will allow them to bring their payments current in an orderly, court-approved fashion. It is essential to file the proper court paperwork as soon as possible after a change of circumstances.
MOTIONS TO CANCEL ARREARS
In most cases, child support cannot be modified retroactively. Unfortunately, many parents find out much too late that they have the option of filing a motion to reduce child support when their circumstances change and find themselves far behind on payments and in trouble with the law.
If the other parent is willing to forego the resulting arrears, the court will approve the forgiveness of arrears. If the other parent is not cooperating, you may file a motion to cancel arrears if your arrears are owed to the state of Michigan for public assistance. If you are able to present a compelling explanation for why you have fallen behind you may be able to achieve a reduction or forgiveness of your arrears.