Portland Modifications Lawyers
When life circumstances change unexpectedly, court orders may need to be rethought or modified. According to Oregon law, any court order regarding child custody and parenting time, child support, and spousal support is subject to modification due to a substantial, unanticipated change in circumstance.
How to Modify a Court Order
To modify a court order, you must first file a motion and an affidavit stating that the reason for the modification is considered a substantial change in circumstances as according to the law.
The former spouse or other parent does not need to file a response to the motion. Instead, the opposing party can ask the court to grant or dismiss the motion – depending on the circumstances.
Child Custody Modification
To modify a custody or parenting time order in Oregon, you must show:
- An unanticipated change in circumstances happened
- The benefits of the change and how they outweigh any negative effects of the modification
- How the modification is in the child’s best interests
- That the change dates to the time of the most recent custody order
The court will refer to the best interests of the child standard that it initially referenced when making the initial custody decision.
Child Support Modification
If you would like to obtain an increase or decrease in child support payments, you must prove that a change in circumstances has occurred that impacts your economic situation. This could include a change to your income level, job, and/or benefits. According to Oregon law, state agencies can conduct periodic reviews to determine if a child support award complies with the state’s child support guidelines. You cannot voluntarily lower your income or earning capacity to avoid paying child support.
Spousal Support Modification
To modify spousal support, you need to show whether the purposes of the initial award have been met. For example, remarriage may be considered as a reason to modify spousal support if the event made the spousal support order unnecessary.
Other Reasons to Modify Child Custody and Parenting Time
The court can modify parenting time if the custodial parent has interfered with the noncustodial parent’s time with their child. The court may grant the noncustodial parent additional parenting time, request counseling, or order other actions it deems fit. The court can also modify custody and parenting time if a restraining order has been issued under the Family Abuse Prevention Act.
What Is Considered a Specific Change in Circumstances?
Some examples of what the court may consider a specific change in circumstance may include but are not limited to the following:
- Neglect of the child
- Improper conduct by the custodial parent
- Child endangerment (for example, marriage to a criminal or exposure to substance abuse or violence)
- Instability of the custodial parent (relocating multiple times to the detriment of the child)
Schedule an Initial Consultation with Our Firm
Our experienced attorneys at Levine Law Center LLC have assisted clients with all aspects of the family law modification process. If your previous court order no longer fits your needs or has placed your child in danger, do not hesitate to reach out to our firm. We pride ourselves on helping Oregon families through difficult transitions. Our firm offers flexible payment plan options for your convenience.