Modifying Child Support, Child Custody, and Visitation Orders

After a divorce or dissolution of marriage is finalized, one or both parents may wish to seek modifications to child support, child custody, or visitation orders.

When the parents have an amicable relationship, post-decree modifications can be made without court intervention. Nonetheless, it is wise to put any changes to the parenting plan, support orders, or visitation schedule in writing and submit them to the court. This ensures that the changes are clearly defined and allows the court to enforce the agreement if your relationship with the other parent changes.

When parents are unable to come to an agreement about changes to the shared parenting plan or support orders, either parent can file a motion or lawsuit to make changes to the orders.

Modifying Your Parenting Plan

As children grow older and circumstances change, what worked when a child was younger may no longer be practical or beneficial. A change in situation may require modifications to the parenting plan. The need to modify a child custody order or visitation schedule may be due to changes in school, illness, mental health concerns, or developmental issues. One parent’s violation of a child custody arrangement or visitation schedule can also be grounds for seeking modification.

In some cases, the child may ask a parent to make a modification to the parenting plan. In others, a parent may have concerns about a co-parent’s ability to provide appropriate care for the child due to the other parent’s illness, a change in work circumstances, or for other reasons.

When the parents agree about changes to child custody orders or visitation schedules, they should nonetheless work with an attorney to ensure that any changes to existing orders are clearly defined and properly filed with the court. Changes to the parenting plan should be filed with the court to protect both parents in the event there is a future disagreement, or if the relationship with the other parent changes for the worse.

When the parents are unable to agree about changes to a child custody order, either parent can request court intervention to determine whether a modification is warranted. When assessing a request to modify a child custody order, as in all matters involving children, the court will consider the “best interests” of the child.

Changes to Child Support Orders

Like the parenting plan, child support orders can be changed, too. Sometimes child support orders are changed because of a change in custody arrangements. Other times, support orders must be modified because the cost of caring for a child has changed. This could be, for example, because caretakers no longer need to be paid as a child gets older, because the cost of caring for a child has increased due to the cost of activities or educational expenses, or because of changes in one parent’s income. A parent who can no longer meet a child support obligation can seek modification of a child support order. Likewise, if a co-parent’s income increased substantially, the other parent may request a modification to a child support obligations.

When deciding whether to make a change to child support obligations, courts will always be guided by the best interest of the child.

Clarke Law. Fighting for Your Family.

At Clarke Law, we understand that concerns about child support, child visitation, and your shared parenting plan can be stressful. That’s why we approach our domestic relations and family law practice as true attorneys and counselors. We listen attentively so we can fully understand your unique situation. Then we make a plan and fight for what you need.

We also know that questions about child custody, child support, and visitation don’t always happen between the hours of 9 and 5. That’s why we make sure that our clients can reach us via cell phone whenever they need us.

Our attorneys have been serving the needs of parents in and around Toledo since 2005. We proudly represent people in Lucas County, Wood County, Fulton County, Erie County, and Sandusky County.

If your circumstances have changed and you need to modify your shared parenting plan, child support payments, or child visitation schedule, Clarke Law can help. We’ll be there for you, making sure you feel heard, answering your questions, and fighting for the changes you need.

Learn more about how we help parents navigate child support, child custody, and child visitation and what to expect when you work with Clarke Law, then contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your case.