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Can I Modify Child Support & Custody After Divorce?

Your circumstances can change after a divorce, making your original child support and custody agreement unreasonable or unfair. Any number of factors can influence the status of your support and custody order, such as new job, serious illness, job loss, etc.

Modifying a child support or custody agreement isn't always easy; you must establish that the adjustment is a substantial and continuing change from your original judgment and that it is in the best interest of your child. If you and your ex-spouse agree on the terms of the modification, changing the settlement will be simple. The only possible hindrance is the court's decision to deny it.

If you and your ex-spouse agree to change the settlement, your attorney can file the new agreement with the court to get it approved. In most cases, the process ends here. If you and your former spouse do not agree, filing to modify your child custody or support could get complicated but is not impossible.

What You Should Know About Post-Decree Support & Custody Modifications

  • Divorce involves a lot of financial changes, but shopping for bargain legal guidance is never a good deal. If you and your spouse don't see eye to eye on the terms of your modification, work with a qualified lawyer. Don't try to minimize legal expenses by handling the modification without a legal professional.
  • In order to file for a new child custody or support agreement, you must show the court that the proposed modification a result of a substantial and continuing change from your original judgment and that it is in the best interest of your child. If for example, one parent increases his / her income, it may be in the best interest of the child for that spouse to increase his / her financial support of the child.

How to Change Your Child Support Settlement

The first step is hiring a family law attorney. Without a lawyer, it may be impossible to change your support/custody orders, especially if your ex-doesn't agree with your request. If you and your spouse cannot reach an understanding, your lawyer will file a motion with the court.

In order to file a successful motion to modify the order, you must support the modification with a substantial and continuing change in your circumstances. In short, the judge will not adjust the terms of your child support or custody simply because one spouse wants to change the settlement.

Reasons to Seek a Child Support or Custody Modification

  • You or your ex-spouse is moving far away, which could influence your child custody and visitation arrangement
  • You or your ex-spouse experienced significant financial changes, making it reasonable to increase or decrease child support
  • You, your former spouse, or your child experience serious illness, influencing your financial needs and expenses
  • You have custody of your child, but believe that it would be in his / her best interest to live with your ex-spouse

Need more information? Call The Buxner Law Firm

If you're considering a child custody or support modification, speak with an attorney from The Buxner Law Firm today. Just like divorce, modifications can involve a high level of conflict. With the help of an attorney, you stand a better chance of obtaining the modification that you need. Our St. Louis divorce lawyers are prepared to help you find the right solution to your case. Simply call our office today to schedule a free, in-office consultation regarding your case.

View our contact information to schedule your initial evaluation with The Buxner Law Firm.