Oregon Divorce Guide

Modification Of Court Orders

In the normal process of divorce (or separation), the court Modify court orderswill issue orders that must be followed. At the conclusion of the divorce, the court will make permanent those orders that require continuity. Typically the orders involve:

  • Child Support
  • Child Custody
  • Parenting Time (visitation)
  • Alimony (spousal support)

It is important to note that the court order(s) reflect a permanent condition until or unless there is a dispute, a request by one of the parties to adjust an order, or the natural expiration of the order. Requests to modify require the appropriate form to be filed with the court.

finger pointing rightLooking for divorce forms? All divorce or separation processes require that you gather all relevant forms, fill them out correctly and file the forms as directed by the court. The most efficient way to get them in front of you is to download the divorce forms, complete with instructions that hand-hold you through the process.

Child Support – set by a mathematical formula used throughout the State by its courts and judges. The amount of support can be adjusted higher (or lower) depending upon the changing circumstances of the child or either parent. Requests to adjust the amount of support generally go back to the court that issued the original order, and require a substantial change in circumstances to be accepted.

Child Custody – As you might imagine, this is not the court’s first rodeo, so they see most everything coming from far away. Should a parent wish to modify the court order, that parent would need to file the petition with the court that issued the order. This court has jurisdiction. Requests to change the original custody order must be made to the court that has jurisdiction, and must cite new facts that were unavailable to that parent in the original action, or that there has been substantial changes in circumstance. In extreme circumstances, where you look to change custody because the other parent has become unfit, you would use the form: Motion for Modification or Amendment of Prior Custody Order in Divorce Decree to Obtain Sole Custody of Minor Child Due to Unfitness of Custodial Parent

For change of custody and relocation, see our section on Relocation in the tab above

Parenting Time (Visitation) – A change in your child’s schedule can be agreed to by the parents without the approval of the court. You should consider having the court approve any changes, so that they become an official part of the custody order, because things change, and verbal agreements are just that – verbal, and difficult to enforce once the winds shift again (and they will). In cases where there is no agreement to alter visitation, the noncustodial parent must convince the court that an increase in visitation is in the best interests of the child.

In any proceeding to establish or modify a judgment providing for parenting time with a child, there must be developed and filed with the court a parenting plan that may be general or specific. The plan should include:

  • A residential schedule
  • Holiday, birthday and vacation planning
  • Weekends including holidays, and school in-service days before or after weekends
  • Decision-making and responsibility
  • Information sharing and access, Relocation of parents, Telephone and electronic access and transportation

You will get ONE shot at winning custody – Learn How Here

Alimony – this too requires a court order to change the terms. Adjusting the amount and frequency requires a material change in circumstances. Most modifications for alimony come from the payor of spousal support, and generally cite a drop of income or increased costs as a result of a life-altering event (decrease in pay, loss of job, medical expenses, etc.). Less frequently, a petition to increase alimony is requested when the receiving party learns of an increase in income of the paying party. These requests usually are based on the dependent ex-spouse being entitled to a portion of the increase due to his or her efforts during the marriage.

If you’re interested in changing the state in which your custody petition can be heard, you are requesting a change to your child’s home state. You can move with your child to another state, and if it does not violate an existing court order, the new state becomes the child’s home state once you have lived there for 6 months. If you move the child to another state, the other parent may file a custody complaint in the state you moved from, up until the new state becomes the child’s home state (6 months).

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