Accomplished Attorney Handles Family Law Order Modifications in Maryland
Advocate works to revise terms when circumstances justify a change After a divorce, life goes on and circumstances change. Children grow older and their needs shift and expenses change. Former spouses may move, change jobs, get promoted or become unable to work. At The Law Office of Stacy B. Talbott in Bethesda, Ms. Talbott is a Maryland family law attorney with more than 30 years of experience handling divorces and other family law matters. The firm regularly represents clients seeking modifications to alimony, child support and child custody orders so that they suit the current needs of the individuals living under these orders.
Skilled Bethesda divorce lawyer advises clients on modifying alimony
As circumstances change, you might have a legitimate reason to request an increase or decrease in the amount of alimony set forth in the original divorce decree. Whether you are the recipient or the payor of alimony, depending upon the language of the Judgment of Absolute Divorce and/or language of the Marital Settlement Agreement, you may pursue a change by having your attorney file a motion with the court for modification of the amount or duration of alimony. Maryland courts require you to show a material change in your circumstances or those of your former spouse, typically a substantial income shift. For example, if you are required to pay modifiable spousal support, lost your job and now earn 30 percent less than you were earning at the time of your divorce, you may be eligible to receive a reduction in your payments.
Accomplished attorney helps parents adjust Maryland child support orders
As with alimony obligations, child support orders may be modified when a parent or child’s financial circumstances change. Examples where a modification might be warranted include:
- An increase in one parent’s income — This may drive the payor’s support obligation up if that parent’s income increased, or down if the custodial parent’s income increased.
- A shift in the access schedule- child support is tied to the time each parent cares for children. A significant change in the overnight schedule may be a basis for raising or lowering child support.
- A decrease in income — The loss of a job or disability for either parent could justify altering the amount of child support.
- A shift in expenses associated with the child — As a child grows older, expenses, childcare tend to drop while educational or tutoring expenses tend to increase. The changes may well be a basis for a modification of child support.
- A child’s medical condition — Beyond typical changes in expenses as a child grows older, a sickness or disability may drastically alter the amount of money required to meet a child’s needs.
Ms. Talbott can advise you on whether your circumstances will likely result in a change to an existing child support order and prepare a motion to request a modification from the court if you decide to move forward.
Lawyer represents parents seeking child custody revisions
If you have an existing child custody order that you wish to modify, you have the burden to show the court why it should be changed. Reasons may include:
- A significant change in the child’s environment — A parent’s abuse of drugs or alcohol, if the custodial parent or child is showing substantial emotional/mental instability, or if there is physical abuse occurring, a court may consider hearing evidence to determine if the custody order should be modified. You may have to show that your home is better than the current custodial parent’s home if you are arguing that the environment there is harmful to the child.
- The custodial parent relocates — When a parent is considering relocating and taking their child with them, a court analyzes how the move would affect the other parent’s ability to maintain frequent, meaningful contact with their son or daughter. The judge might also consider how leaving their school, friends, and possibly extended family members, will affect the child.
Other circumstances that might have an impact on the child, such as a parent refusing visitation to the noncustodial parent, could also result in a child custody order modification. Ms. Talbott has handled many complex cases of this nature during her more than 30 years of practicing family law and can explain what factors could be evaluated when a judge determines whether a modification is warranted.
Contact a determined Bethesda, Maryland family law attorney today
If you have any questions about modifying alimony, child support or child custody orders, schedule an appointment with The Law Office of Stacy B. Talbott. Call 301-424-7799 or contact her online.