Child Support Modification And Custody Modification In West Virginia
It is not uncommon that as people get further away from their divorce or separation, circumstances change. Sometimes, those changes can result in a need to modify the custody agreement, parenting plan or request a change in a child support obligation. At Sammons Olivero & Paraschos in Huntington, we provide counsel and advice to clients in West Virginia who are seeking a child support modification, would like to change visitation or would like to petition the court for a child custody modification.
When Can Child Custody Be Changed?
Whenever the court is determining child custody, it will also consider first and foremost the best interests of the child. The same is true if a parent is asking for a change in custody. The goal is always to give the child the best chance for a healthy and stable environment while encouraging a healthy relationship with both parents. The circumstances of a parent and the needs of a child will naturally evolve and change as the child gets older. However, the court will generally not consider making a change in the existing custody designation unless there is significant cause to do so.
When Can A Parenting Plan Be Changed?
In most divorces, the parents will work together to establish a parenting plan, especially when parents share joint custody. The parenting plan will cover day-to-day happenings between the parents and the child, including a visitation schedule. A court will defer to the agreement of the parties. If the parents agree on changes to the parenting plan, the court will order the change. If the parents disagree, the court may still order a change in the parenting plan if the parent requesting the change can show a substantial change in circumstances. A substantial change in circumstances can include:
- The child’s preference
- Emotional or physical danger to a child
- The remarriage of a parent
- The move or relocation of a parent
- The birth of a new sibling
The child’s preferences will matter more if the child is older and has the ability to speak up for what they need and want. If a parent is unable to fulfill their responsibilities under an existing parenting plan, the other parent may be able to show that there is a substantial change in circumstances. Our child custody attorneys at Sammons Olivero & Paraschos can help you negotiate a change in an existing parenting plan or request that the court order a new plan.
When Can Child Support Be Changed?
In the state of West Virginia, either parent can request a change in child support at any time. However, if it has been less than 36 months since the original award, the parent who is asking for the change must be able to show that circumstances have substantially changed since the original amount was ordered. Substantial changes in circumstances can include:
- A parent gets a new job or a raise
- A parent loses a job
- A child’s needs change
- A change in custody
If the court has been asked to revisit child support, it will consider the same factors that were used to determine the original child support obligation.
Do You Need A Support Modification? Contact Our Divorce Divorce Lawyers Today.
Our lawyers are available for an initial consultation by appointment only. During this appointment, our lawyers will answer your questions and provide an honest assessment of the legal issues in your case. To schedule your appointment, call us directly at 304-522-7730 or send us an email through our website.