Bellenot & Boufford, LLC
Modification of Court Orders
Most orders of the court are modifiable upon a substantial change in circumstance. Property orders are normally not able to be modified. Orders regarding children are almost always able to be modified. The ability to modify alimony and some other orders depend on the language of the original order and the circumstances. We can review your order, evaluate your situation and advise you on what can be modified, how it can be modified and what you have to prove to best present your case for modification. And if you are fighting a modification, we can help you with that too.
Family court orders are often in place for many years. It is very likely that things will change making those orders no longer equitable. Orders regarding finances will likely need to be re-evaluated in the event of job loss, promotion or raise, marriage or co-habitation of one of the parties or other significant change. Orders regarding children will likely need to be re-evaluated as children grow. Their needs and schedules change drastically as they reach age milestones. Parenting plans that suited them as school-age children may not be in their best interests when they reach middle school. Same for when they reach high school. Changes in family dynamics or parental involvement may also be just cause for a modification. Change doesn’t have to be bad. Sometimes it is better to change an order than everyone can comply with rather than trying to make a bad order work.
Modifications do need to be sanctioned by the court, but it doesn’t mean you need to re-litigate your case. It is often in everyone’s best interest to try to work out the changes on their own with the help of a mediator or attorney. Parties are the best judge of what works for their family. If an agreement can be reached, then it just needs to be presented to the court and the change will likely be made. We can help parties reach a fair resolution – or guide one party while they negotiate/mediate with the other – and then make sure the modification is written so it has the best chance to be accepted by the court. We try to anticipate what questions the court might have and make sure those issues are covered. We also make sure the agreement doesn’t violate public policy or include provisions that would otherwise give rise to concern by the court.