Indianapolis Modification Lawyers Ready to Help You
When dealing with unfamiliar legal territory, it can quickly become stressful and confusing. If a legal agreement needs to be altered for some reason, most people are unsure of how to even start the process of amending something as serious as child custody or alimony agreements. The best place to start is speaking with modification lawyers since they are familiar with the ins and outs of making changes to legally binding documents.
What Are Modifications?
When a legally binding court order is put in place by a judge, the parties to the order are legally required to follow the agreement. However, there may come a point in life where the original agreement no longer works for the parties involved, or one of the parties is unable to meet the requirements of the court order. If a court order needs to be changed to accommodate the changing needs of the parties involved, the change or new amendment to the agreement is called a modification. Since the rest of the legal document is still in effect, it is easier to modify it than to start the process all over in most cases. For example, adding a modification to an existing alimony order is easier than creating a new alimony agreement.
Reasons for Modifications
There are several reasons why a court order may need to be legally modified. Since these are legally binding agreements, it makes sense that the reasons for a modification tend to be big, life-changing events in the lives of the people involved. Modifications may also be made for smaller issues, but that scenario is less likely. Here are some of the most commonly modified court orders and reasons for the modification:
Alimony is spousal support where one spouse pays another, either by way of a prenuptial agreement or a court order. Someone may want to make a modification to this agreement for reasons such as being unable to make the payments due to a loss of income, changing the frequency of the payment due date, or any other changes to this legal agreement. Since alimony is typically ordered by a judge, it is best to have a modifications lawyer assist with any changes.
Similar to alimony in that it is usually a monthly payment and ordered by the courts, child support is often modified for the same reasons as alimony. When there is an inability to pay due to a loss of income, asking for the order to be temporarily modified allows the paying parent a chance to find new employment without falling behind on support payments. Child support may also be modified to change the payment schedule or to cover an increase requested by the primary parent in the event of rising childcare costs for the child.
Child custody agreements may change over time for various reasons. Some of the reasons may be simple, such as changing the time a parent with joint custody returns the child to the other parent, or they may be more substantial, like one parent asking for more visits with their child. Whatever the situation may be, it is important that both parents agree to it as part of their official child custody agreement. Parents may also use the modifications process to make changes to their co-parenting plans, which are different from child custody. Child custody solely regards the arrangement of which parent has the child and when, whereas a parenting plan may outline other co-parenting details agreed upon by both parents.
What Does a Modifications Lawyer Do?
A modifications lawyer helps clients before and during the process of modifying a court order or legal agreement. If someone is looking to change a legal agreement, they most likely have questions, and a modifications lawyer will be able to answer these questions while guiding them through the process. They will assist clients in gathering any necessary documents and forms required to ask for a modification. Modifications lawyers also represent the request and overall case to the judge, who will then decide whether or not to approve the modification. It is worth keeping in mind that modifications lawyers practice under family law, so this type of lawyer will be knowledgeable about matters pertaining to modifications such as alimony, child support, child custody, and other related legal matters.
Do Modifications Need to Go Through the Courts?
Modifications of legally binding agreements, including alimony payments, child support, and child custody, must go through the courts in order for the modification to be legally approved and recognized. For example, if you and your ex-spouse verbally agree you can stop alimony payments until new employment is found, your ex-spouse could say they never agreed to that arrangement, and the courts would have to go with the agreement on file. This could lead to failure to pay fines or other legal troubles. The bottom line is that any legal arrangement court-ordered should be modified through the courts in order for it to be legally binding. It is the only way to protect yourself and ensure the agreement stays intact as a legal contract. If you are unsure if the modification needs to be part of the contract or agreement, consulting a modifications attorney may be the first step to avoid future legal trouble.
We’re Here to Help
When dealing with a court-ordered agreement, it is always best to make sure you follow all necessary legal rules pertaining to the agreement. An experienced modifications lawyer will be able to offer legal counsel on this essential family law matter. Let us help you make the modifications to your agreement less stressful by calling us at 317-982-7396 today.