Can You Modify a Child Support or Child Custody Order?

What Are Post-Decree Modifications?

When you’re going through a divorce or separating from your child’s other parent, you will work out child support and child custody agreements. Though some people come to these child support agreements with the help of their lawyers, a mediator, or arbitrator, other couples will have the courts make these determinations for them. Even if you decide these issues out of court, the courts still need to recognize the agreements legally.

When making these determinations, the courts do their best to establish terms that provide families with long-term solutions. However, as circumstances change, these original orders may no longer be appropriate for you or your family. When this happens, you can petition the court for what is called a post-decree modification.

Reasons You Might Need a Child Custody or Support Order Modified

While child custody and support modifications are possible, they should not be taken lightly. A Colorado court takes changes to the original order very seriously, and they will only consider them if there have been significant and substantial changes to you or your family’s circumstances. Additionally, this must be a continuing or permanent change of circumstances to warrant a modification.

Situations in which a modification might be necessary include:

  • Job loss
  • A significant change in income
  • Health or medical issues
  • The birth of a new child
  • A new dependent
  • Relocation of one or both parents
  • Military deployment
  • The child/children’s needs have changed
  • Visitation has changed

If you have had significant changes to your circumstances, you should reach out to an experienced lawyer familiar with post-decree modifications and Colorado custody and child support laws. Your attorney can review your case and assess whether you have grounds for a modification.

Click here to learn more about child custody laws in Colorado.

What Is the First Step in Pursuing a Child Custody or Support Modification?

When deciding whether to grant a modification, the courts will always put the child’s best interests first. The first step in pursuing a family court modification is to secure legal representation. When petitioning for an amendment, you will need to make a strong case for why your modification is necessary and in the best interest of your child/children. Additionally, your child’s other parent will also have the opportunity to present their own argument regarding the requested modification and parenting time. An attorney can help you put your best foot forward.

What to do if Your Original Order Is from Another State

If your child custody and support orders were issued in another state, you will need to register a foreign decree in Colorado. This will transfer the jurisdiction of your case to the Colorado courts. You will need to go through this process before asking the courts for a modification. It is highly recommended that you work with a lawyer to ensure this process is completed correctly. Mistakes can delay your case and end up costing you extra money.

Review our website to learn more about registering out-of-state family court decrees.

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