Under What Circumstances Can Custody, Visitation And Child Support Orders Be Changed?
Generally, speaking modification to a family court order or a judgement of divorce require a showing of a change in circumstances. Change in circumstances is a legal term of art that stands for the general principle that when agreeing to the order of judgement something has happened that you could not have contemplated happening at the time you agreed to the terms. Returning to court a week a month sometimes more because you changed your mind is likely not a reason that would meet that burden. For example if at the time you entered an order of visitation you were living in another state and now you have moved closer to your child that may be substantial change. Another example might be if you agree to a child support order and now your parent falls ill and you must become the care taker or you lose your job without cause. Meaning you didn’t quit on your own or fired because you did some fire-able offence.
Does The Same Judge Who Handled The Decree Have To Handle The Modification As Well?
It is not likely that Supreme court, where you obtain your divorce, will retain exclusive jurisdiction over future modification applications. This mean that you can apply for relief in either Supreme court of Family court. If you apply in Family court, which is generally recommended, certainly a new judge will be assigned to your case. Local rules dictate that if a case is newly decided in Supreme court, the Family court may refer the case or require that you file the modification in Supreme court. It is not required for the same judge to handle your modification whether in Supreme court or Family court. The court system philosophy is to have “one Judge, the family” This means that if you saw a specific judge there is a good possibility that you will see the same judge. This has the possibility of helping your case if the judge remembers what happened in the past or might not be what you want because you did not see a judge as impartial.
Must I Have The Same Attorney Who Handled My Divorce Also Assist Me With The Modification Or Can I Hire Your Firm?
No, you are free to hire any attorney to handle the case or you may handle it on your own or pro se. It is highly recommended that you not represent yourself and if you choose to do so you will be told that many times throughout your case you may want to not represent yourself. Lawyers have many years of training before they become an attorney and many years after becoming a lawyer doing what they learned. That information and experience you do not likely have and that is what you are hiring someone to do for you. When is the last time that you did your own dental exam? diagnosed a problem with your car? or completed surgery on your knee? If you are coming from a previous attorney, it is helpful to obtain any paperwork that may have been in their file. This is your paperwork and you are entitled to keep it.
What Is The Process To Request A Modification To Child Support, Custody, Parenting Time Or Spousal Support?
A petition or application must be drafted, filed, docketed and served on the opposing party. Once everyone is in court a decision will be made on whether a modification can be granted.
Can A Request Or Petition To Modify A Decree Be Challenged Or Opposed?
Without question, it is something that can be challenged or opposed. Unless the parties agree to change an order expect the above process to occur
For more information on Modification Of Divorce Decree, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (718) 737-9669 today.
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