In a divorce case, especially ones that involve children, both parties are hoping to get the prize — that is, gaining custody of their children, or at the very least, fair parenting time and decision-making power. But that is not always going to be the case, depending on matters involved in the divorce.
There is a chance that one party will not be happy with the orders of the court regarding parenting time, custody, and decision-making authority. Luckily, these orders can be modified — but only if the laws regarding modification are met or if the situations warrant a modification.
For anyone seeking their custody decree modified, here are some tips they should consider.
- Know the law
There are certain elements in the law that may preclude a person from bringing modifications of parenting time within two years from the last time they asked for a modification. There are also certain exceptions to bypass that rule, such as if endangerment or imminent harm is being alleged.
Before seeking modification, a person must first know the procedural and substantial requisites involved to find out if the situations do warrant a modification or if they are eligible to ask for it.
- Stay organized
If a person acts based on a hunch or if they don’t have proper documentation, the chances of them being able to obtain a decree modification is slim. The situations that warrant a modification do not happen instantaneously, so it’s important that the person seeking to modify documents everything that will prove the need for it and organize everything.
For example, if an individual is seeking to modify parenting time, they need to have the dates that they want to get the kids. If there is any communication between the co-parents, it’s preferable that those arrangements be in writing for documentation purposes.
Filing a modification in an organized manner and accompanied by documentation puts a person in a better position to achieve the most favorable results, i.e. an approved decree modification.
These are the most important things to do before deciding to ask for a modification in the court’s prior decree. Parties cannot act based on whim, especially when talking about matters as important as child custody and parenting time.
There are only certain situations when a modification is warranted, so it’s important to know the law and be organized. A divorce attorney can also be helpful in helping people achieve their ultimate goal to modify a court decree.