Modification refers to a request by a party to a court order to change, or modify, the terms of that order. In order for the request to be granted, the party asking for the change must prove that: 1) the circumstances of a party or a child have materially and substantially changed since the date of the last order or the agreement that led to that order and 2) the requested modification is in the child’s best interest. This only applies to terms of a custody order—the court cannot change a property division from a divorce by modification.
The parent that wants to change the order has the burden to prove those two elements. If the court believes the two elements have been met, the court can change primary custody, decision-making for the child, visitation, child support and any other facets of the order related to the child.
Modification actions are very common and constitute a large percentage of the cases our firms handle. These cases can be settled or litigated and our firm has experience resolving modification cases by negotiation and in the courtroom.