Post Decree or Permanent Order Modifications
Fort Collins | Loveland | Greeley
Child Support Modifications
Parents may seek a child support modification of a prior Order where there has been a substantial change of circumstances. In the child support world, that means the data contained in the prior child support worksheet has changed in a manner which results in either a 10% increase or decrease in the child support amount.
Child support obligations terminate when a child attains age 19 unless the child emancipates earlier by either marriage, enlisting in the service or living outside the home self-supporting him or herself. Over time, changes can and do occur in the parent’s lives. Incomes change due to a loss of employment, raises, disability or job transfers. Health insurance increases. Daycare costs no longer are necessary. Changes in parenting time occur which result in changes in the number of overnights each has. One child in a multi-child family emancipates. Any or all of these changes can result in an increase or decrease in the child support amount.
Child Support modification include the issues pertaining to the determination of the parent’s gross monthly income. It can include issues pertaining to retroactive modification and voluntary changes of custody. Many of these issues are not clearly defined in the statute but are based upon the facts of each case and family.
Ms. Drake has many years of experience assist i ng her clients with these questions.
Parenting Time Modifications
Parenting time schedules can be modified when a schedule change is in the best interest of a child. However, a change in the residential parent cannot be made unless there is endangerment, physical or emotional, in the residential parent’s home.
Schedule changes may be necessary over time due to a number of factors. Some of the reasons are a change in the child’s age, a change in a parent’s work schedule or perhaps a relocation by one parent.
In some instances, there is endangerment in a parent’s home due to child abuse or drug/alcohol abuse by a parent. A parent may need to file an emergency motion to restrict parenting time and protect the child. That parent has a higher burden of proof in the court.
Relocation cases are difficult cases. Some cases may involve a relocate from Northern Colorado to Denver. If the parents share equal time and one party needs to relocate to Denver, even the distance of 60 miles will cause a major change to the parenting time schedule and the ability of one parent to parent on a shared scheduled. These changes are even more significant when a relocation is an out of state relocation. When a relocation will cause a significant change in the geographical ties between the non-residential parent and the child, the non-residential parent may seek custody of the child. The Colorado statute enumerates many factors that a court must consider when determining whether
it is in the best interest of a child to relocate.
Ms. Drake has assisted clients and have been successful in obtaining court orders allowing and disallowing relocation. She has obtained emergency orders on behalf of her clients when needed and can work to assist clients with schedule change modifications.
There are two forms of maintenance in a permanent order or divorce degree. The parties may have agreed to a contractual maintenance agreement which is fixed in both amount and term or perhaps one or the other. Contractual maintenance provisions, when properly prepared are enforceable by the court and non- modifiable. Ms. Drake can review the enforceability of the contractual maintenance agreement.
The other form of maintenance is modifiable. The parties may have agreed upon modifiable maintenance in their separation agreement or if they went to trial, the maintenance award is always modifiable.
In order to modify maintenance, the parent must meet a harsh burden of proof. The party must show a substantial and continuing change of circumstances that would render the prior maintenance award unfair. The courts are looking for more than a small change of income to meet this burden. The statute sets forth the standard but there are many factors which a court will consider if the matter goes to a court hearing. These factors are found in “case law” of prior cases that have been reviewed by the Court of Appeals or Colorado Supreme Court.
Ms. Drake, over the years has successful in obtaining orders both denying modification and granting modification motions. If you find yourself in this situation, please call.
Contact Ms. Drake About Your Case
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Contact me to discuss your case. My Loveland office is conveniently located at 361 E. 27th Street, Loveland Colorado.
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday
8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. on Fridays.