In the event the issue of child custody, child support, or alimony has been previously decided by a court order, the terms of any such court order may be modified upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances.
Regarding orders for child custody, the substantial change in circumstances must be shown to affect the welfare of the children, and, if the court determines that there has been a substantial change in circumstances affecting the welfare of the children, the court may then proceed to modify the terms of custody consistent with the best interest of the children.
With respect to orders for child support, the substantial change in circumstances must relate to the income of either parent and/or to the needs of the children. The party seeking a modification of child support must show that he or she has suffered a substantial involuntary loss of income, that the other parent has had a substantial increase in income, and/or that the children’s needs have substantially increased or decreased.
With orders for alimony, the change in circumstances must relate either to the ability of the supporting spouse to pay alimony or to the financial needs of the dependent spouse. If the supporting spouse is seeking a modification of alimony, he or she must show that he or she can no longer pay the current alimony obligation. If, instead, the dependent spouse is seeking a modification of alimony, he or she must show that he or she cannot meet his or her financial needs with the current alimony obligation and that the supporting spouse has the ability to pay additional alimony.
To learn more about modification of existing court orders for child custody, child support, or alimony, contact Chapel Hill Family Law by phone at (919) 419-1244 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.