Modifications of any order regarding a child may be granted upon showing that there has been substantial change in circumstances since the last order. These changes include increases or decreases in income, changes in residency, marital status, health or educational challenges that a child may be facing, or changes in work schedules.
Not every aspect of an order can be modified. For example:
- Modifications to child support can be made if the new child support amount (based solely on the payor's income) will change by either 20 percent or by $100 monthly difference in income.
- Spousal support/alimony can be modified downward if there is a showing of financial hardship by the paying party, but it can never be modified upward.
- Property division arrangements are final and cannot be modified.
- Child custody and visitation plans may be modified under a variety of circumstances, such as parental relocation or simply the changing needs of children as they grow up.
In many cases, modifications of custody and support orders can be positive and benefit the children as well as the parents. The parties can work together to negotiate a new plan that better fits the current circumstances.
If the parents cannot agree to a modified plan, however, then the court must decide the solution. Clausen & Centrich PLLC will vigorously represent you in court to protect your interests.
Elaine Berkeley has over 15 years’ experience dealing with complicated family law issues. If you are in the Woodlands, Conroe or the Houston area and have modification issue, contact HCWD, PLLC to speak personally with a family law attorney.