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Modification of Custody or Support

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Sometimes there is a need to seek changes to a final custody or support order due to changed circumstances of the child, a parent or other conservator or of a child. What is needed to appropriately address the care, protection, support and welfare of a child may change as the years go by following a final custody or support order. This may include the removal of a child from the primary care of one parent and the placement of the child in the primary care of the other parent. In such case, the obligation to pay child support will typically change from one parent to the other as well. The modifications can also be less extreme. For example, adjustments to an amount of child support may be appropriate without changing the designations of payor and recipient. Likewise, schedule adjustments to a possession order may be appropriate without the need to change a child’s primary physical residence. The facts of each case may differ, but the court must typically find that a material and substantial change in circumstances warrants the modification of a prior order. The court must always determine that the modification is in the best interest of the child.