Motions to Modify
After an order is entered and the parties have been operating under the terms of that order, they often find the need to change it. Sometimes the circumstances of one of the parent’s has changed or the circumstances of the child changes or both. Any change to the current order must be done through the courts by filing a Motion to Modify. A modification can be sought to change child support amounts, conservatorship, and possession and access schedules.
Modifications sought within two years of a previous order are looked at with more scrutiny, because the court wants to make sure that making the change is in the best interest of the child or children. If you need a current order modified contact my office and I will work closely with you to get the changes you are seeking.
If the child support amount that was originally set by the court is no longer accurate then you may need to seek a modification. But, the current order must be at least three (3) years before the court will change the amount and the difference in what is being paid now and what the court could rightfully order has to surpass a pre-determined amount set by the legislator. If both of those standards have been met and the obligor (the parent paying support) has had a decrease or increase in their salary, the child support amount may need to be adjusted.
Keep in mind that if the circumstances that have changed are material and substantial then the court can make changes even though three (3) years have not passed.
For example, if the child suddenly develops special needs, the obligee (the parent receiving support) may need to seek an increase to better serve the needs of the child.
Or if the obligor (the parent paying support) takes on the financial responsibility of caring for an elderly parent, then they may want to seek legal counsel to determine if a modification is recommended. These are just some examples, every case is different. Please contact me to set up a no charge phone consultation to discuss your special set of facts.
– Conservatorship issues are the type of issues that involve who makes decisions for the child, such as, medical, educational, developmental, and religious decisions. Conservatorship issues may occur if one parent has been incarcerated since the last order or no longer provides for the child or participates on a regular basis in the management of the child’s life. If joint managing conservatorship was ordered, but now things have changed and you believe sole managing conservatorship is what is best for your child, then call or e-mail me to discuss your options.
2. Possession and Access
Possession and access is the time both parents spend with the child and when and how the possession transfers occur. You may want to seek a modification to place supervisory restrictions on the other parent because their lifestyle is no longer fit for raising a child and you are concerned about what happens when the child is in their care. Often times work schedules change and possession and access needs to be modified to suit the new work schedule. There are a many reasons to seek a change in the possession and access schedule, so call or e-mail if you think you may need help in this area.
Conviction of Child Abuse or Family Violence
In all instances a modification should be sought immediately if a parent is convicted of child abuse. The legislator recognizes a conviction of child abuse as a material and substantial change and will always do what is necessary to protect the child from an abusive parent. The same is true for a conviction of family violence. Do not procrastinate changing the order if the other parent has been convicted of a crime against a child or has been violent to a family member. The safety of your child depends on you acting fast and protecting them from a potentially dangerous situation at the hands of the parent not exhibiting sound judgment.
Parental Terminations come in two forms, voluntary and involuntary. As the word suggests, a voluntary termination is uncontested and the other parent provides a notarized relinquishment document and voluntarily gives up rights to the child. An involuntary termination is just the opposite. The other parent is contesting the termination and there will be a hearing for the judge to decide if termination is in the best interest of the child. Following a ruling that a termination is granted, the terminated parent, usually the non-custodial parent who is obligated to pay child support, is not only relieved of parental duties and obligations, but is also relieved from paying child support, but is still on the hook for any arrears that have accrued.
Adoptions are by far the highlight of family law. With little to no conflict, adoptions are a very happy time for families. In order to be eligible for adoption the parental rights of the parents must be terminated. However, in the case of a stepparent adoption, only one of the parent must have had their rights terminated. This makes the child eligible to be adopted by the person married to his or her custodial parent. There are several steps involved in this process, which makes it more lengthy then most expect. In-home evaluations must be done and interviews must take place with all members of the household. Background checks are also required for the parent seeking to adopt and the custodial parent.
Often times name changes that were supposed to occur during a divorce or adoption was inadvertently forgotten or a party decided to wait and is not ready to change their name. This is a relatively simply litigation if it is straight forward. It is frequently the case that people think they are entitled to a name change, when in fact they are not at that time and other litigation must be pursued and an order of the court entered before the name change can occur. If you have questions about name changes, please call or e-mail the Law Office of Victoria Broussard.
Attorney General Child Support Cases
When the state brings a case against an obligor (the parent paying support) sometimes it is necessary to hire an attorney who understands the system and is willing to defend you with all vigor. This is especially true if the Attorney General seeks to throw you in jail for violating the child support order. If jail time is being recommended by the Attorney General, you have the right to a court appointed attorney.
But, if you can afford a private attorney, it may be to your advantage to seek one out. Often times there are extenuating circumstances and an attorney can plead your case to the Attorney General’s office and reduce the arrears. What you must realize if you are in this situation is the state does not represent you or the obligee (the parent receiving support), but rather represents the interest of the child.
Think Twice, Maybe Three Times
Whatever your legal situation is with your family, one thing I can guarantee you need is a lawyer who cares about you and your situation. The lawyer you choose will have a profound impact on how you get to the other side of whatever legal obstacle you are facing. You need a lawyer who knows what if feels like to be in your shoes. This is not the time for harshness, judgment, abrasiveness, callousness … all characteristics we have all seen in a lawyer at some point in time. You deserve a lawyer with compassion, soul, heart, and faith, combined with extensive knowledge, experience, and expertise in family law. Look no further, you have found that lawyer. Call or e-mail now to set up a no charge phone consultation.