Can I Change the Current Custody Arrangement?


Family court lawyers are frequently asked questions pertaining to the modification of child related issues in existing family court orders. Child related issues – i.e., custody, visitation, child support – are modifiable until such time that the subject child is over the age of eighteen and graduates high school, becomes married, or becomes self-supporting. However, for the family court to modify an existing order, the moving party has to show that there has been a substantial change in circumstance since the prior order such that the best interest of the child would best be served by the modification.  Within the context of custody or visitation, the following may serve as the basis to modify a prior order:

  • A shift in the preference of an appropriately aged child.
  • The relocation of either party.
  • The remarriage of either party.
  • The child’s academic performance.
  • Either party’s change in employment.

Within the context of child support, the following may serve as the basis to modify a prior child support order:

  • Either party has experienced a significant increase/decrease in income.
  • The work-related daycare expense for the minor child has increased/decreased.
  • In situations involving more than one child, one of the children turned eighteen and graduated high school, became self-supporting, or has married.

Though child related issues remain modifiable, there are defenses available to the defending party wanting to avoid a modification. For example, if the defending party can show that the basis of the modification relies on facts circumstances that were known to the moving party or should have been reasonably anticipated at the time of the prior order, a judge may refuse to modify that order.

Hiring the right lawyer can make a big difference. Call Tatyana Ustimchuk, at (864) 660-0465 or email me at if you have questions. 

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Tatyana S. Ustimchuk is an associate with the law firm KD Trial Lawyers. Click here to read more about Tatyana.

The posts on this website/blog are published as a service to our clients and friends. They are intended to provide general information only and should not be construed to be formal legal advice regarding any specific situation and should not be construed as forming an attorney-client relationship. Success in the past does not indicate the likelihood of success in any future representation.

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