Legal Help for Post-Judgment Modifications
Even the most thoughtful and well-crafted divorce or dissolution settlement agreement or judgment may need to be changed if the circumstances of the parties involved change significantly. Have you lost your job and are unable to pay the court-ordered child support or spousal support? Do you plan to move away and need to rearrange your child custody and parenting time agreement? Is your custody or parenting time plan just not working?
For post-divorce modifications of court orders, you can rely on the family law attorneys of Jensen & Leiberan. Our lawyers will work to accomplish your goals efficiently and effectively. To arrange a consultation about obtaining a post-divorce modification or about fighting a proposed modification, please contact our law office in Portland, Oregon.
We will file and defend against post-divorce pleadings for modification of the following court orders:
Property division: These orders are rarely modified, but can be in the case of fraud or if a significant asset or debt was neglected in the original divorce settlement agreement.
Spousal support: If the paying party has undergone a substantial change in circumstances, such as the loss of a job or a significant reduction in income, he or she may file for a post-divorce modification. If the party receiving spousal support remarries or experiences a significant increase in income or an increase in expenses, the court may grant a modification.
Child custody and parenting time: The court will determine whether there has been a change of circumstances in the custodial parent’s ability to care for the child that is significant enough to justify a change in who has custody of the child. A modification of parenting time does not require proof of a change of circumstance and can be achieved whenever a court determines that the change is in the child’s best interests. Because a modification is necessary in order to move away from the child’s other parent, it is important that you discuss any plan to move, regardless of the reason, with an attorney as soon as possible. Whether or not a modification of custody or parenting time is granted varies significantly from one county to another and even from one judge to another. We are familiar with courts and judges in numerous counties throughout Oregon and Southern Washington and can give you our legal opinion about your chances of achieving your goal in the court where you are required to seek your modification.
Mandatory Parenting Classes - Mediation
If a significant amount of time has passed since the last custody or parenting time determination, parents seeking to modify custody and/or parenting time judgments must attend a county-sponsored parenting class. Each county has rules about when a parenting class is required following the filing of such a modification motion.
In addition to the parenting class, in all modifications of custody and parenting time, if the parents cannot agree, they are required to attend mediation to attempt to resolve their custody and parenting time issues before the matter will be heard by the court.
At Jensen & Leiberan, we check to see if you need to attend a parenting class and provide you with the address and telephone number to call to schedule your class and the information you need to set a time to meet with a county mediator.
The mediation requirement can also be satisfied using a private mediator. Jensen & Leiberan has a list of mediators who routinely mediate family law issues.
Child support: If the paying or receiving party has a significant increase or decrease in income or if the custody or parenting time arrangement changes, the child support order may also need to be modified. Do not rely on informal agreements to modify child support. The paying party will still be held legally responsible for the full amount of support unless and until a modification is granted.
In addition to filing for and defending against post-divorce or post-dissolution judgment modifications, our family law attorneys help clients who have never been married obtain modification of child custody, support and parenting time judgments. To arrange a consultation, please contact our office in Portland, Oregon.