modifying child support order

As children age, their needs change. Their extracurricular activities modify your schedule and demand more time. Their interests and costs may also increase, meaning you need to change your child custody or support orders to help accommodate for these changes. Missouri law permits a parent to seek modification of child custody and support orders when done in the right way. 

At Wegmann Law Firm, our team of experienced child custody attorneys can help you seek modification of your child support or custody to fit your new needs. We offer personalized consultations and work hard to protect you and your family.

Demonstrating a Change in Circumstances

To modify your custody or support order, you must show a change in circumstances. It must show that things have changed since the first order was put in place. The parent must also prove that the current order is no longer in the child’s best interests as a result of these changes. Ultimately, a court will always look to the child’s best interests when making nearly any determination.

Some examples that may constitute a change in circumstances include, but are far from limited to:

  • The child’s or parent’s healthcare needs
  • The living situation
  • Refusal by either party to allow parenting time
  • Extracurricular activities or unexpected childcare costs
  • Abuse or neglect by a parent
  • A parent who changes jobs or has a new income
  • A parent who wishes to relocate, especially a great distance away

What Factors the Court Considers in its Decision

Missouri state law requires that courts consider several factors in making custody-related determinations. First, all decisions the court makes must be in the best interests of the child or children. It should fulfill the child’s need for a meaningful, frequent, and continuing relationship with both parents whenever possible. It should also account for each parent’s willingness to parent the children and allow contact with other relatives.

Custody changes must also consider the impact on:

  • Where the children would attend school
  • How it will affect the child’s healthcare and development
  • The mental and physical health of the parent’s and children
  • Any history of abuse or neglect
  • Whether the current support order is sufficient to monetarily care for the children

These factors and many others may impact a court’s decision on child custody or child support. There are many nuances to these issues, however, so you should consult a qualified child custody and support attorney in Missouri when seeking to modify either order.

How To Modify a Child Custody or Child Support Order in Missouri

To modify either your child custody or child support orders, you will need to file a motion with the court. This motion should indicate whether the parents agree to the changes and submit a joint motion, or if only one parent seeks the suggested changes. Courts are likely to adopt mutual decisions negotiated between parents, so long as the agreement is in the best interests of the children. Your attorney can help navigate these negotiations to save you time and money in a contested hearing.

The fact is, however, that many of these requests are not mutual. The other parent may disagree with parts of your request or want to contest it entirely. You and your attorney can file a Motion to Modify Child Custody (CAFC101) form in order to make necessary changes and seek modification of your orders. This and other critical steps will help you properly seek modification in the court system.

Seek Help For Your Child Custody or Support Modification Orders

Changing child custody or support orders often seems complicated or daunting to many parents. Some choose not to bother with going back to court, even if it means taking on more of the cost. This is not fair to you or your children, so we are here to help make the process as easy as possible.

At the Wegmann Law Firm, we are here for you. Our experienced child custody lawyers have decades of experience in these matters, and know how to help. Request a consultation today to get started.