Modification of Child Custody or Support
When problems arise with the custody arrangement set forth in the initial Court Order, one or both parties may seek a change in child custody, visitation, or support. In Alabama, these issues may be addressed at any time after the initial Order is put into place.
MODIFICATION OF SUPPORT
A party seeking to change a custody, visitation, or support order must first show that there has been a material change in circumstances that warrants the proposed change. For example, if the party seeking the change is currently paying child support set forth in a previous order but that party has lost their job and does not have the income sufficient to continue paying the same amount of child support, they will probably be able to show a sufficient change in circumstances to warrant the modification. However, that party should attempt to obtain employment as soon as possible and at a pay rate as high as possible. If the court determines that the party is at fault for losing their job, or if they are not putting forth maximum effort to secure new employment, the court could impute income to that party.
Likewise, if the party who receives the child support from the other party finds out that the party paying the child support has gotten a substantial raise in pay, they can seek an upward modification in child support.
MODIFICATION OF CUSTODY
When the Court looks at the circumstances surrounding an initial custody determination, the Best Interest of the child or children must be considered. However, when a party attempts to modify that original Order, the Court considers an even higher standard. The Court must consider first whether the proposed change in custody is in the child’s best interest. If the Court determines that the proposed change is in the child’s best interest, the Court must then decide whether the change in custody is good enough for the child to outweigh the bad that comes from uprooting the child from their current situation.
If you are in a situation where you believe that a modification of child support or custody is in order, call me for a free consultation and I will help you decide if you have the necessary grounds for that modification. Call me attoday!
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