Trusted Guidance During Uncertain Times

Child Custody And Support Orders Can Be Modified

At the Law Office of Nicholas P. Barone, we serve the needs of our family law clients at all stages of their legal journey, including seeking post-judgment modifications to custody and support orders. Keep reading to learn more about how these processes work.

Seeking Changes To A Child Custody Order

As children grow and family circumstances evolve, it is sometimes necessary to revisit and revise child custody orders. There is little benefit to children to keeping an existing arrangement that no longer reflects their best interests.

That being said, a child custody order is issued after careful, deliberate consideration of many factors. Therefore, judges are very reluctant to hear arguments for why the orders should be changed. In most cases, courts will only consider modification when there is a material or substantial change in the circumstances of the child or the parents. Examples include:

  • Major changes in financial status
  • Parental relocation (moving more than a short distance away)
  • Major changes in health or health needs
  • Parental abuse, neglect or abandonment
  • Parental criminal behavior

As children age, their preferences are given greater weight, especially once the child reaches age 12 or older. However, a child’s desire to spend more or less time with one parent may not be enough to warrant reconsideration without additional evidence that the change would be in the child’s best interests.

Seeking To Modify A Child Support Order

The philosophies governing child support modifications are very similar to those listed above. With child support, however, the considerations are limited to changes in financial circumstances and the passage of time.

There are three allowable reasons to seek modification of a child support order. They are:

  • Either parent’s income has involuntarily changed (up or down) by at least 15 percent since the order was created or last modified
  • There has been a substantial change in financial circumstances, including a major increase/decrease in a child’s financial needs or a major change in parental income
  • At least three years have passed since the order was created, last modified or adjusted

Enforcing Orders

Although mandated by a court, child custody and support orders are not always obeyed by parents. If your co-parent refuses to abide by the terms of the agreement or consistently violates those terms, you have options to compel compliance. Our divorce and family law attorneys are ready to help you document and present evidence of non-cooperation to a court and seek all available remedies.

Contact Us To Discuss Your Case With An Experienced Lawyer

The Law Office of Nicholas P. Barone is based in White Plains and serves clients in Westchester County and surrounding areas of New York. To schedule a consultation about modifications or enforcement of court orders, call us at 914-683-8200. You can also contact us online.