Butler Modifications Lawyer
Not every divorce decree is set in stone. While the decision regarding division of assets is likely to remain in place—unless it is later shown that one of the spouses was hiding assets or committed another act of fraud—child custody, child support, and spousal support/alimony are all up for modifications in the years, or even months, following the divorce. Here at Bunde & Roberts, P.C., our Butler divorce modification lawyers can help you modify an order, or fight back against a modification that you do not approve of.
Child Custody Modifications
Similar to an original custody decision, under Pennsylvania statute 5338, “a court may modify a custody order to serve the best interest of the child.” As such, a petitioning parent must be able to show that changing the existing order is in the child’s best interest. For example, the current custody or visitation order may not represent a parent’s current living situation (one may have moved to a house in a safer neighborhood); one of the parents may have taken on a more demanding job, and therefore have less time to raise and supervise the child; a parent may have been convicted of a crime or done something else that jeopardizes the well being of their child; or the child themselves (if they are old enough to have this decision-making capacity) may even wish to move in with their other parent. There are many reasons why a custody or visitation order may change over the years, and modifications are actually quite common.
Child Support Modification
In order to modify child support, the paying or receiving parent must establish a “substantial change in circumstances,” as per Pennsylvania Rule 1910.19. This may include:
- A substantial change in either parent’s income or assets, including job loss or job gain;
- A substantial change in the child’s needs, such as educational or healthcare needs;
- A substantial change in either of the parent’s needs, such as the cost of living, healthcare, or other;
- A change in physical child custody rights (the child spends more or less time with one of the parents); and
Modifying Spousal Support or Alimony Pendente Lite
Modification of spousal support or alimony pendente lite requires the same type of petition that modifying child support does: showing a substantial change in circumstances. Examples of this include:
- Either party loses a job;
- Either party gains a job or gets a promotion;
- Either party incurs additional expenses, such as getting cancer;
- The receiving party can no longer work due to age, disability, or a physical/mental condition;
- The paying party takes on a bigger role in their mutual child’s life, such as becoming a joint legal guardian;
- The paying party loses significant assets in the stock market; or
- The receiving party remarries.
Reach Out to a Butler Divorce Modification Lawyer
Certain divorce decrees and other family court orders are usually meant to change with the years. After all, no one’s life circumstances are static. The Butler modifications lawyers at Bunde & Roberts, P.C. can help you petition the court for a modification, or defend the existing court order to keep things as they are. Contact us today at 412-391-4330 to schedule a free consultation.