Let Us Help you Modify Your Court Orders
During the divorce process, the court will often decide whether or not one spouse owes support payments to his or her spouse and children. Alimony could be awarded to a spouse that needs more financial assistance following a divorce, while child support must be paid by the noncustodial parent. However, circumstances change. If you can no longer afford your support payments, you do have the option to modify them. Likewise, if you can no longer keep up with court-ordered custody, you must seek a modification of the original child custody order.
Child Support Modifications
While child support is adjustable, you can’t make the decision on your own to forgo paying what the court ordered you to pay. If the original child support order was part of a marital settlement agreement, the court could easily modify the order if the child’s needs require that alteration. However, if the order originated with the court, you need to be able to prove there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the original child custody order was filed, such as the loss of a job. You must seek a modification by filing a motion with the court. You can also apply for services with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Child Support Services and request a review from a caseworker.
North Carolina law will presume a family’s circumstances have changed substantially if it is at least 3 years after the most recent child support order and the change suggested would result in an alteration of at least 15% of the payment.
Child Custody Modifications
Child custody orders can be modified in 2 basic situations: when a parent has violated a court order and when one or both parents allege changed circumstances. Either parent can bring a motion to modify a child custody order; however, the burden is on the parent that filed to present evidence proving the modification is justified and is in the best interest of the child.
If your child still lives in the location where the original order was entered, modification is a little easier. In order to modify your custody in North Carolina, your child must still be a resident of the state. If they have lived elsewhere for more than 6 months, you and your attorney will have a jurisdictional dilemma, and you may have to seek a modification from the state in which your child lives.
Seeking modification to custody also includes providing the other parent with notice you are applying for more or less time with your child.
If you find your alimony payments are too high, or you know your spouse can pay more in alimony after getting a higher-paying job, you can petition the court to modify your spousal support payments. However, you must prove you or your spouse has experienced a substantial change in circumstances that requires modification.
You can petition for downward modification of spousal support, if your ex is now employed somewhere with increased income or if he or she is cohabiting with another individual. The onus would be on the recipient of alimony to prove the “change circumstance” has not affected the need for alimony.
A petition for upward modification can also be submitted if your income was affected by job loss, disability, or any financial emergency.
Talk to Us About Your Situation Today
If you have more questions about modifications and how they work, call us. Our skilled family law attorneys are experienced in helping people navigate the complicated and emotionally fraught world of domestic problems and family-related issues. Dummit Fradin Attorneys at Law can help you get through a stressful and painful family law dispute. Our lawyers spend every day in court. We understand the law and the issues most families can find themselves dealing with. Our attorneys are also skilled in negotiations and in litigation if your case goes all the way to court. Let us see what we can do for you.
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Your needs are our top priority. No matter what the case entails, we look forward to meeting and working with you to get through this matter as efficiently and effectively as possible. Stop by one of our locations today in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, or High Point, NC. We currently service the following counties: Forsyth County, Guilford County, Surry County, Stokes County, Yadkin County, Davie County, Davidson County, Rockingham County, Randolph County, and Alamance County.