Often, additional proceedings are required to enforce a part of the order or agreement or to make changes to it based on a change in circumstances. Changing or enforcing an agreement can be arduous even in the best of circumstances. We strive to make the process as painless as possible. We find compromise when it is possible and are always ready to move forward with litigation when necessary.
Modification of Custody Orders & Agreements
Life changes quickly. This is especially true if a custody order or agreement was created when the child was young. No matter how talented your attorney or how thorough and exhaustive you were at the time an agreement or order was entered, you can’t anticipate every possible change. Accordingly, custody agreements and orders often require modification. In an ideal world, these modifications could be done with a simple agreement between the parties. In many cases, a modification causes new conflict between the parents, especially where the modification is substantial or significant.
It is always possible to modify a child custody agreement or order upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances that affected the welfare of the minor child and was unanticipated at the time the agreement or order was entered. In the case of an agreement that was never entered as a court order, a party can move to establish a court ordered plan without the legal necessity of showing a change in circumstances, but it advisable to only bring such an action if there has been some change in circumstances. Once the legal burden of showing that the court has the ability to make a modification is met, the guiding principle of the court is to look at what is in the best interest of the minor child.
A party wishing to modify a custody agreement or order should consider both the legal requirements to be successful as well as the substantive argument as to why the change is in the best interest of the minor child. If you are considering attempting to make a change to a child custody agreement or order, speak to us before taking any actions. Often, it is important to prepare your case well before anything is actually filed in court. Further, you should keep in mind that the court moves very slowly and you should leave yourself as much time as possible when litigating such an issue. If you know a change is coming that will require a modification, speak to us as soon as possible.
Enforcement of Financial Agreements (Alimony & Equitable Distribution)
Sometimes, winning your financial case at a final hearing is only half the battle. Even with a judgment in hand, collecting the money owed to you can be challenging. An order for alimony doesn’t actually pay any bills if the alimony payment doesn’t come. We can efficiently and quickly help you collect what is owed to you. We have experience in using discovery and the tools of enforcement provided by the courts to get you what is owed in a timely manner. If you have trouble collecting on a judgment from a family law case, contact us to discuss how we can help.