The end result of any family law matter is usually the court entering a judgment. However, after the judgment is entered circumstances may change which results in a modification of the judgment being necessary for child custody, child support or possibly maintenance.
Post-judgment modifications are used in a large variety of family law matters when the situations of the people involved change. Some examples of these modifications include:
Modification of child custody and visitation judgments.
Modification of child support in a divorce judgment, paternity judgment or other judgment.
Modification of maintenance judgments (alimony), (assuming the original judgment is modifiable).
The party filing the motion for modification has the burden of proof as to why there should be a modification of the original (prior) judgment. Since the party filing the motion for modification has the burden of proof to the court, it is important to have a detailed understanding of the requirements for a successful outcome. Sometimes the parties can reach an agreement between themselves and only need the court’s approval and finalization.
However, many motions for modification become a highly contested and adversarial procedure that ends up not settling until the day the case is set for trial, or results in a contested trial with the judge entering a judgment. Therefore, it is important to retain an experienced family law attorney to represent you in these matters.
Changes in Circumstances
In order to successfully pursue a motion for the modification of a judgment for child support or a modification of a judgment for maintenance, there must have occurred a substantial and continuing change in circumstances that makes the terms concerning support unreasonable.
Generally, some of the factors the court will consider in a child custody modification include:
Whether there has been a substantial and continuing change in circumstances to warrant a modification of custody;
Whether the changes make the prior custody decree unreasonable; and
If it is in the best interest of the child that a modification of custody occurs.
The degree of change in circumstances that is necessary will depend on the specific facts of any given case. Some examples of the many facts that may result in a change in support or a change in child custody include the following.
Loss of a job, or a change in earnings.
Changes in the home environment that make it unsuitable for children.
Abuse of a child.
Problems with drugs or alcohol.
Relocation of one of the parties.
Jay G. Galmiche, Your Experienced Post-Judgment Modification Attorney
At the Galmiche Law Firm, we have over thirty (30) years of experience providing compassionate representation to Missouri residents in modifications of prior judgments for child custody, child support and modifiable maintenance.
Please contact our office to discuss your situation and how a post-judgment modification can benefit your child and/or you. We can be reached at (636) 532-2300 or click here.