Modification & Enforcement

If the court has already entered orders for legal decision making and parenting time and you believe those orders should be changed, you can request they be modified. The one catch is that one year must have passed since the making of the order unless the child’s current environment is a serious threat of harm or danger to the child whether it be physical, moral, mental or emotional. For example, one of the parents has an addiction issue, the new spouse or boyfriend (or girlfriend) is harming the child or parent or criminal activity is taking place in the child’s home. If one of the parents is charged with a dangerous crime against children or commits an act of domestic violence against a minor, the parent may request an expedited hearing.

What do I need to do to modify an existing parenting time or legal decision making order?

The answer depends on the circumstances and reason for the change. Assuming a year has passed or some other qualifying event has occurred, a verified petition explaining why the change is necessary and in the best interest of the child(ren) will need to be filed. The other parent must receive notice of the filing and requested change. They may file a response to let the court know their side of the story and reason why the orders should not be changed. The court may grant the hearing if the reason for the change is sufficient. Be aware, the court may order the filing parent to pay the other parent’s attorney fees and costs if the court believes the modification request was vexatious and harassing.

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