NC: Modification of Orders

How do you get a court ordered changed?

The most common modifications we see people seek are:

  • A recalculation of the amount child support being paid:  When one parent’s income changes substantially, the amount of child support may need to change. When children start or stop going to daycare full time or when health insurance costs change, a parent may seek to have the child support recalculated. When one child reaches the age of maturity, you will need to modify the child support order for the remaining child(ren). Sometimes if the child’s needs change substantially, the custodial parent may apply for increased child support. Additionally, child support can be revisited after three years to ensure the support has kept up with any changes in needs or income. If any of these situations apply to you, you should contact our office and set up a consultation to determine if your situation is likely to result in a change.
  • Custody and visitation: As children age or situations with the parents change, the original court order may not meet the children’s needs any longer.  If the parent with primary physical custody of the children wants to relocate out of state, the other parent may object. Or, the other parent may not object but may wish to change the visitation schedule. Parents may also want to change child custody or visitation arrangements if they suspect issues such as alcohol/drug abuse or neglect/abuse of the child at the hands of a parent is occurring.
  • Alimony: Post-divorce modifications of alimony orders are less common but do occur. If one of the former spouses finds themselves in greatly changed financial circumstances, he or she may wish to ask the court to decrease or increase a spousal support order.

Property orders or agreements are almost never subject to change and are final when entered. That is why it is so important to do it correctly the first time.

If you were able to reach the original agreement or court order without conflict, you might be able to obtain a modification by agreement as well. On the other hand, if the matter was hotly contested in the beginning, then you may find the modification process to be equally as difficult.

Most modifications require the aid of an attorney or mediator to ensure that both parties consider everything that needs to be changed and the best way to secure the changes needed.  Call our office for a consultation if you think that a change to your order is necessary or desirable.