Modification to Orders

Modifications

Seeking Changes to Existing Court Orders.

 

Modifications to Decision-Making

The court will not modify a decision-making order unless it finds that modification is in the child(ren)'s best interests and one of the following conditions are met:

  • The parties agree to the modification;

  • The child(ren) have been integrated into the family of the moving party, with the consent of the other party, and such situation warrants a modification of the allocation of decision-making responsibilities;

  • There has been a modification in the parenting time order pursuant to section 14-10-129, that warrants a modification of the allocation of decision-making responsibilities;

  • A party has consistently consented to the other party making individual decisions for the child(ren) which decisions the party was to make individually or the parties were to make mutually; or

  • The retention of the allocation of decision-making responsibility would endanger the child(ren)'s physical health or significantly impairs the child(ren)'s emotional development and the harm likely to be caused by a change of environment is outweighed by the advantage of a change to the child(ren).

​Additionally, a motion to modify decision-making cannot be filed if a motion to modify decision-making has been addressed by the court within the last two years, whether or not it was granted. The sole exception is if the court decides there is reason to believe that a continuation of the prior order may endanger the child(ren)'s physical health or significantly impair the child(ren)'s emotional development.

Because it is difficult to modify decision-making, it is incredibly important that decision-making is properly addressed during the initial divorce or allocation of parental responsibilities matter.

Modifications to Parenting Time

The court may make or modify an order granting or denying parenting time rights whenever such order or modification would serve the best interests of the child(ren).


If the change that is being requested would result in the requesting party going from having less than 50% of the parenting time to having more than 50% of the parenting time, then the requesting party must show: (1) that a change has occurred in the circumstances of the child(ren) or the party with whom the child(ren) resides the majority of the time; (2) that the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child(ren); and (3) one of the following conditions is met:

  • The parties agree to the modification;

  • The child(ren) have been integrated into the family of the moving party with the consent of the other party; or

  • The party with whom the child(ren) reside a majority of the time is intending to relocate with the child(ren) to a residence that substantially changes the geographical ties between the child(ren) and the other party.

If a motion for a substantial modification of parenting time which also changes the party with whom the child(ren) reside a majority of the time has been filed, whether or not it has been granted, no subsequent motion may be filed within two years after disposition of the prior motion. The two exceptions to this rule are: (1) if the court decides that there is reason to believe that a continuation of the prior order may endanger the child(ren)'s physical health or significantly impair the child(ren)'s emotional development; or (2) the party with whom the child(ren) reside a majority of the time is intending to relocate with the child(ren) to a residence that substantially changes the geographical ties between the child(ren) and the other party.

There are many complexities to modifying parenting time.  As such, if you are seeking to modify parenting time it is important to have good legal representation.

Modifications to Child Support

A court may modify a child support order when there is a substantial and continuing change of circumstances. Courts have found that a 10% change in the child support obligation is generally considered a substantial and continuing change in circumstances. This usually occurs when there is a substantial change in income, child care or other item that would cause a significant impact in the child support calculation. It is important to remember that a parent cannot unilaterally complete a new child support calculation and start paying a different amount. You must have a new order in place from the court before any new amount is paid.

Modifications to Maintenance

Whether or not you can modify a maintenance award will depend on the type of maintenance that was ordered during your original divorce. If the original maintenance order is modifiable, then a court may modify the maintenance amount if there is a showing of changed circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make the terms of the original award unfair. Modifications to maintenance are based on the particular facts of each case. If you are looking to modify an existing maintenance order, you should discuss the matter with an experienced family law attorney.

 

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720-990-5601

 

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