Motions to Modify
In a perfect world, once the judge enters a final judgment in your divorce or paternity case, that would be the end of the matter and you would never have to go back to court on it. However, we don’t live in a perfect world, and sometimes circumstances change. Sometimes those changed circumstances are the fault of one of the parties, or sometimes the changed circumstances are completely unforeseeable and not anybody’s fault. Regardless, what may have worked at the time of the initial judgment may no longer be working or may no longer be feasible. When that happens, you often have to file a Motion to Modify and ask the judge to change the original order. Motions to Modify almost always involve children and the parenting schedule that was put in place when the initial judgment was entered.
As our lives move forward, it is only logical that our needs and the needs of our children will as well.
People lose jobs, children get older, and, on occasion, it is in the best interest of the child that they primarily reside with the other parent.
The biggest question that must be asked when deciding whether the original judgment needs to be modified is whether there has been a material change in circumstances.
People have changes in life, and the courts recognize this. Judges see this every day and they completely understand that just because something was working five years ago when the child was young may not be working as the child has become older. Contrary to what some people may think, a judge isn’t going to be upset if a case has to be brought back to court to change the original plan. The court just needs to know if there has been a material change in circumstances and if the new proposal will be in the best interest of the child. If we can show both of those things, then judges tend to be very receptive to modifying the original plan to take into account the new circumstances.
If you find yourself in a position where the original judgment is no longer working, call us for a free consultation and we can discuss your situation with you and determine if the circumstances justify taking the matter back to court to modify the original judgment.