Modification litigation is a fairly common form of family law issues on court dockets. In Utah, they happen almost as frequently as divorce cases or paternity. Let’s take a deeper look at what modifications are looking to achieve, and what you can do if you need to respond to a modification case.
What are family law modifications?
Modifications are used when a parent, or both, decide they need to address an issue with previously closed child custody, spousal support, visitation or child support case. These cases are considered closed when decided upon by the court. It is, therefore, necessary that a new case is created via a motion to the court. In general issues such as division of marital property and debt cannot be addressed again as these issues are typically viewed as final and cannot be modified.
Custody Modifications: The main area of concern deals with materially improved or declined welfare of the parent or child. If circumstances have changed since the original custody decree was ordered. Parents seeking a successful modification based on child welfare need to establish the areas of the child’s life that have been negatively impacted.
Visitation: This is another area that primarily centers around the best interest of the child or children. In general visitation regulations can be changed via modification every 2 years. This unless of course a material change can be established in the life of the child or the parent.
Child Support: Things can and usually will change after the original family law court order. This can include a change in the financial situation or one or both parents. It can also include a change in the financial needs of the child. For example, if the child has accrued or removed the need for extraneous medical bills.
Do I need an attorney for my modification case?
Even if both parents agree to the new terms, modifications can be a little tricky. If you are looking to make changes, or have been served with papers, speaking to a legal professional can be quite helpful. If your family law case is in or around Salt Lake City, contact Burton Family Attorneys today at (801) 393-1106 to learn more.
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