Are you finding it difficult to make maintenance or child support payments due to loss of employment? Then call Sisemore Law Firm, P.C., today and learn about how you can change (modify) your divorce.
While divorce proceedings before a court will result in specific orders for each aspect of financial and custodial obligations of the spouses, these orders are not necessarily set in stone. In almost every postmarital relationship, changes in the personal circumstances of one or both of the parties create the need for responsibilities to be modified.
Changing Spousal Support
Under the Texas Family Code, a party may obtain a modification of a maintenance order upon a showing that there has been a material and substantial change in the circumstances of either party. Loss of employment, physical disability and mental incapacity are all common justifications for which a court will modify maintenance orders that require spousal support payments. If the affected party is the one responsible for maintenance, the court may opt to cancel the maintenance responsibility entirely, or reduce the amount or frequency of payments.
Modifications Of The Parent-Child Relationship
Under the Texas Family Code, any court order upon divorce affecting the custody, visitation or support responsibilities of a parent may be modified upon a finding of adequate grounds for modification. Much like the initial order, the primary concern of a court in modifying an order is to serve the best interests of the child.
To modify a custody order, a court must determine that a material and substantial change in the circumstances surrounding the child’s custody with the parent warrants a modification. If modification is granted, the court will typically grant custodial rights to the other parent or another relative found to be more capable of caring for the child.
For visitation orders, modifications typically arise when the visiting parent fails to meet the visitation schedule or has failed to make support payments. In more extreme situations, a court will order visitation to be supervised or discontinued altogether if a visiting parent is found to be abusive to the child.
Much like spousal support modifications, modifying a child support order is typically the result of a substantial change in the financial status of either parent. If the custodial parent has lost his or her job and can no longer support the child on the current payments provided by the other parent, a court may increase the support responsibility of the other parent. In some situations, loss of employment can also affect custody rights. In the event the parent responsible for providing support payments suffers a financial hardship, support payments may be reduced as well, provided the child is receiving adequate financial support from the custodial parent.
Much like the need to modify the original order granted upon divorce, modifications are not necessarily the final determination of custody, visitation and support matters. If a material or substantial change does not last for the duration of the childhood, orders may be modified multiple times or may have a somewhat temporary effect. Our Fort Worth divorce and family law attorneys understand how circumstances may change repeatedly over the course of your life. We have the experience necessary to obtain the modification that benefits you and your child.