Post-Divorce Custody and Support Modifications
We’re here for you as your family’s needs change
Divorce happens at a moment in time, but the needs of both parents and children change over time. That means a child custody, child support, or spousal support arrangement that made sense on the day of your divorce may not still fit years later. You need a modification – and that means you need a family law attorney who understands how the system works.
While the family courts are usually accommodating with child custody and child support modifications as long as they are in the best interests of the child, you need to present your case in a manner that the family court judges will find persuasive. You don’t have to go through this complex process alone. Contact Klie Law Offices in West Virginia today to speak with a member of our legal team.
Why your divorce decree may need to be modified
No matter how complete your divorce decree is, life happens. Changing circumstances can make a change necessary. Some of the situations where you may need to make a change to child custody, child support, or visitation include:
- One parent’s income and resources change significantly, for instance, because of a career change, return to school, retirement, disability, or long-term unemployment.
- One parent intends to relocate a significant distance away, including outside the state of West Virginia.
- One or both parents remarry, perhaps also bringing stepsiblings or half-siblings into the lives of the children.
- A parent or child has significant health issues that affect childcare or visitation.
- Other issues relevant to the needs of the child.
When modifying child custody agreements, the court starts with the presumption that a relationship with both parents is ideal for the child (except in cases of abuse). The court can take into account the same criteria that are used to determine child custody in the first place, including the child’s needs, the parents’ schedules, each parent’s living situation, and the child’s stated preference (if old enough or mature enough to articulate a reasonable preference).
The court can also modify child support up and down to account for changes in income or cost of living. Some child support orders can be modified to automatically recalculate child support yearly, for instance, to account for inflation.
Spousal support (alimony) can also be modified in some circumstances, usually based on the financial situation of each spouse. The paying spouse can also seek a reduction in alimony payments on the basis of involuntary unemployment, disability, or retirement.
How an attorney can help with your post-divorce modification
The first thing you need to understand about modifications is that any changes will only be retroactive to the day you filed a motion to modify the divorce in family court. The current terms of your divorce decree remain in effect until and unless it’s modified by the court. So, the sooner you get an attorney on your side to explain your options and file the motion in a timely manner, the better.
We understand West Virginia law, and we have gotten real results for West Virginians from all walks of life. We know how to file the correct paperwork and meet the legal deadlines to move your custody or support modification forward efficiently. More importantly, we will listen to your story, craft a solution that works for you and your family, and keep you updated every step of the way.