How Do I Modify a Court Order?


Under Missouri family law, the only person who can legally alter an existing court order is a family law judge. This means that if the parents try and come up with their own agreement outside of court, it will not be considered legally sound. Whether you are looking to modify a child support or child custody order, you will have to meet the requirements and file the proper paperwork in order to see any changes made. With the help of our Kansas City divorce lawyer your chances of successfully modifying a court order will be far greater.

The first step towards modifying a court order in Missouri would be to file a motion to request a hearing. You would have to specify in your motion whether you are looking to modify child support or a motion to modify child custody and support. Your attorney will be able to help fill out these complex legal forms for you and file them with the court in the appropriate jurisdiction. Along with filing your petition, you will also be required to show proof that you have experienced a significant change in circumstances or a reasonable amount of time has passed since the original order was put into effect. Now that may seem like a vague statement- what constitutes a substantial change in circumstance anyway? Some reasons that would justify changing a custody, visitation or support order would include:

  • A change in employment
  • Loss in wages
  • Moving further or closer to the children
  • A changes in the child's school performance
  • A change in the home environment (ex: abuse, alcohol, drugs, smoking)
  • A change in disciplinary action or child punishment
  • A parent is not abiding by the court order
  • The other party is no longer "fit" to be a parent (ex: they committed a crime)

Some common reasons that clients come to us requesting a modification are that the child is in danger, the parent wants to relocate, or there has been a death of a parent. If there is a new pattern of domestic violence in the home and the child is in immediate danger then the matter must be brought to the courts attention as soon as possible. When it comes to cases involving relocation, the court will reconsider modifying the child custody order if the move is it in the best interests of the child. The court will also look to see what the motive is for relocating, whether the child's routine will be majorly interrupted and if the parents have tried to figure out a new visitation schedule. Many people are not aware but in the event that a parent dies, a child custody and support modification is still necessary. In this case the remaining parent or a third party can resume full responsibility of the child.

Need a lawyer for a court order modification case in Kansas City, MO?

As the moving or petitioning party in a modification case you will not only have to prove that your situation has drastically changed, but you will also have to demonstrate that the new modification would be serving the best interests of the child. Here at The Reynolds Law Firm, LLC we have more than more than 50 years of combined legal experience handling a wide variety of family law matters and we can guide you every step of the way. With our help, you can ensure that your legal documents are prepared correctly the first time and that your rights will be protected at your court hearing. Getting the court to agree to a modification is not always easy, let us help you persuade them. Contact a Kansas City divorce attorney from our firm today for help in modifying your existing court order.

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