Matthew C. Brimley

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Post-Decree Divorce Modifications of Support and Custody

If a substantial change in circumstances has occurred since the time of the divorce decree you may be entitled to petition the court to modify your decree. A substantial change in circumstances may include:

Child Support Modification

If a child support order has not been issued or modified within the previous three years, a parent, legal guardian, or the Office of Recovery Services may petition the court to adjust the amount of a child support order.

Upon receiving a petition, the court shall, taking into account the best interest of the child, determine whether there is a difference between the amount ordered and the amount that would be required under the guidelines. If there is a difference of 10% or more and the difference is not of a temporary nature, the court shall adjust the amount to that which is provided for in the guidelines.

Custody Modification

The Court has set forth a two-step procedure for modification of child custody decrees. The first step involves a determination that a substantial change in circumstances has occurred since the time of the last decree. That determination is a prerequisite to a reopening of the custody issue; only after making a finding of substantial change should the court go on to the second step of the procedure. In the second step, the court must determine which custody arrangement will serve the welfare or best interests of the child, and modify, or refuse to modify, the decree accordingly. The best interests determination should involve consideration of all relevant factors, including the benefit to be derived from maintaining stability in the child's living arrangements.

If you would like to speak with Mr. Brimley about modification of an order, please contact Brimley Law Office at (801) 375-1100 or online and arrange a free consultation.