Modifications to Child Custody – Attorney Assistance in Lee’s Summit, MO
Content Reviewed by Kristin Siegel, JD | Attorney at Law
Sometimes, after a judgment is entered, circumstances may change, and the judgment is no longer practical or in the best interest of your child. If this is the case, a motion to modify may be required. Child support and child custody may be modified so that the terms of the new judgment are in the best interest of the child. In certain cases, spousal support may also be modified.
If you feel that the terms of your divorce decree or paternity judgment need to be modified, our child custody attorneys at Leonard Rodarte Siegel can help. At our child custody law firm in Lee’s Summit, MO, our skilled and detailed lawyers can help you modify arrangements fairly and reasonably to suit your child’s best interest.
An Overview of Modification Law in Missouri
A re-arrangement of custody often results in changes to a parenting plan, and quite frequently child support as well. Only an official filing (motion to modify child custody) and judgement is legally binding in the state of Missouri. Any other arrangements will not satisfy the legal requirements for a modification. Agreed upon (known as a stipulation) changes to child custody can often be settled without a hearing, but most changes require some form of court oversight. When a modification is contested or disputed, a contested hearing is required per Missouri law. A child custody lawyer is highly suggested at this point as a court hearing will take place requiring a burden of proof from the requesting parent. In addition, a responding parent will be allowed to introduce evidence during a dispute.
Typical Steps in a Modification
At Leonard Rodarte Siegel LLC, our child custody attorneys will offer guidance through every step of the modification process. The formal steps in a modification typically include the following:
- Filing of Motion
- Service of Summons
- Completion of Parent Education Program
- Pre-Trial Hearing
- Entry of Judgment
Reasons for Modifications
Modifications to child custody will undoubtedly happen in a child’s life as he or she grows and as parents have changes in their personal and professional lives. As with any other custody arrangement, the best interests of the child are the top priority when considering modifications to a parenting plan or custody arrangement. Generally speaking, when a plan appears to be working for all parents and children, a court will not be willing to modify. Adequate grounds for modification include the following:
- Circumstances such as child neglect, child endangerment, child abuse, or domestic violence.
- Frequent non-cooperation from a parent in accordance to a parenting plan not being followed.
- One or both parents relocate and a new arrangement must be made.
In most cases, a child requesting to live with a certain parent is not an enforceable modification unless other proof is provided that indicates a change is necessary. A child custody modification attorney at Leonard Rodarte Siegel LLC can help you understand what constitutes grounds for modification and what does not.
How Can a Child Custody Lawyer Help with Modifications?
In Missouri, it is strongly advised to consult a child custody lawyer when considering modifying any child custody arrangement. If there are any disputes between involved parties, a skilled child custody attorney can be extremely helpful to have on your side. Below are a few reasons to contact our child custody lawyers located in Lee’s Summit, MO:
- Our child custody attorneys can help you understand the process and time frame of modification hearings.
- In addition, our child custody lawyers can help you understand the legal requirements of modification hearings and what evidence you will need to provide.
- When modifying arrangements, our family law attorneys can assist you with the paperwork, filing, and court representation.
- Our child support lawyers will provide advice based on past experience in the court systems.
If steps are not carefully followed, dates not met, or paperwork performed incorrectly, a modification can be significantly delayed or even rejected completely by the court system. In order to ensure you are well represented and meeting all requirements of a motion of modification in Missouri, consult with our child custody law firm.
Contact Our Child Custody Law Firm for a Professional Child Custody Consultation
At our child custody law firm in Lee’s Summit, our child custody attorneys have over 30 years of experience in modification of custody matters and have assisted many clients with custody changes throughout the Kansas City metro area. Each child custody case varies in complexity, and our child custody attorneys are equipped in handling interstate child custody changes and other complex modification situations that arise. Let our child custody lawyers at Leonard Rodarte Siegel LLC work for you. To schedule a consultation, contact us today.