After a divorce, the financial and personal circumstances of each spouse change significantly. For this reason, modifications to certain divorce terms are common. Since only the court can change the order in question, the change must be significant enough to warrant the court’s involvement.
At Greenville Family Attorneys, our Greenville county order modification lawyers can handle any type of order modifications. We offer legal counsel whether you need to modify custody or child visitation agreement, child support order, or spousal support payments. Terms relating to spousal support and children aren’t set in stone. Contact us today in Greenville at (864) 475-9393 or chat with us online to discuss your modification request.
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Types of Order Modifications
After a court order has been made, either in a judgment or temporarily, this order can be modified sometimes. However, you must justify a request for modification by proving a substantial change of circumstances since the original order was made. Here are the common order modifications:
Spousal Support Modifications
If you wish to modify a spousal support order, you must consult with an experienced family attorney because these orders aren’t always modifiable. In South Carolina, you’re eligible for spousal maintenance modifications only if there is proof of a continuing and substantial change in circumstances.
You may qualify for a spousal support modification if:
- The supported spouse cohabits with an unrelated member of the opposite sex or remarries.
- You lose employment or income. However, if your layoff is expected to be temporary, the court might not allow you to reduce your spousal support payments.
- You lose your health insurance or your employer changes it. This is a substantial change because health insurance is a significant expense. So, if your health insurance expenses explode, this may warrant spousal support modification.
Note that you have to pay any arrears in spousal maintenance at the time of modification.
Child Support Modification
If you’re paying child support and you’re the non-custodial parent, there are two types of child support modification you can pursue. You can pursue a:
- Simplified modification. This is applicable when circumstances change and the new child support payments would be at least 15% higher or lower than the amount originally ordered by the court.
- Standard modification. This is applicable when your circumstances change in a “substantial and continuing manner” to the point where child support payments should be changed.
Child Custody Modifications
In South Carolina, the term for child custody is now “legal decision-making.” Courts analyze several factors when deciding if legal decision-making modifications align with the best interests of the children involved.
- The mental and physical state of both parents and children.
- If there has been child abuse, domestic violence, or neglect of any kind.
- The past and current relationship between the child and parents, along with potential future relationships.
- If one parent has a habit of deliberately misleading the court to delay the case as a way of increasing the cost of litigation or to make sure the decision goes in their favor.
Parenting Time Order Modifications
Because circumstances often change drastically, parenting time order modification is one of the most commonly sought-after modifications.
You are eligible for a parenting time modification if:
- The child switches schools, and/or you’re able to play a bigger role in deciding the environment that makes your child happy
- You become incapacitated because of addiction or health issues and it’s in the child’s best interest to shield them from these problems
- You move because of work and it’s in the best interests of the children not to move with them.
To receive the modification you feel you deserve, it’s crucial to seek the help of an experienced family law attorney.
How Can I Request Child Support Order Modification?
The process for requesting child support modification depends on whether child support is a DSS/Child Support Enforcement (CSE) order or private order.
Here are the steps for modifying a CSE Order:
- Write a letter to DSS/CSE notifying them a change in circumstance exists and request a modification to the child support order. In your letter, you must identify yourself, state specifically what your change of circumstance is, and request a definite review in your case. Then, send your letter to the CSE caseworker assigned to your case in the regional office that enforces your child support order.
- Attach the required attachments to your letter. Depending on what your change in circumstance is, you may need to provide documentation to support your claim. For instance, if the change relates to:
- Income. You must attach at least two pay stubs from your current job.
- A new child in the father’s home. You must attach adoption papers or a birth certificate.
- An injury or illness. You must attach a doctor’s statement, which states clearly the time you won’t be able to work and describes your inability to perform the same and/or your temporary inability to perform certain types of work.
- Make and keep copies of the documents you send to DSS/CSE or a private agency. Hand-deliver a copy of your letter and documents to the regional office or send them by certified mail and request a return receipt from your caseworker. If the DSS/CSE is unresponsive, file your legal modification paperwork with the court.
To modify a private order, you must file your legal paperwork with the family court requesting a modification. Note that DSS/CSE can’t modify private orders.
Contact Our Dedicated South Carolina Family Law Attorneys
At Greenville Family Attorneys, we can help you modify the terms of your divorce, child support, child custody, and/or spousal maintenance orders. We will do everything possible to make sure that the modifications made to your court order match your needs and lifestyle. Contact us today at (864) 475-9393 or chat with us online to schedule your consultation.