How can I change child custody and stop child support? 25 Answers as of June 13, 2011

My 13 year old son, who lives with his mother, would like to come live with my new wife and I. I was wondering if you could tell me the steps I need to take to change the custody order and stop child support.

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Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
You would best retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to represent you if you are seeking to modify child custody to get custody of your 13-year old son and modify child support. The Court may or may not consider your son's wishes, and there are factors specific to your and your ex-wife's relationships with your son and each other beyond your son's wishes that will likely need to be presented to the Court in order to persuade the Court to change custody. Child Support is based on each parent's income and the parental timeshare of the parties, and lacking specifics on those (and lacking the Court's decision as to custody), I can't guess what the Court's Child Support order might be if you received your son's custody, because your ex-wife would get SOME custody or visitation (i.e., her relationship and contact with your son won't be totally terminated), and I don't know what you earn and what she earns, but if you get primary custody, one party will likely be ordered to pay SOME child support to the other - and if your income is substantially higher than your ex-wife's income, you could still have a Child Support obligation in SOME amount to your ex-wife after you receive primary custody of your son.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/13/2011
Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
You need to file a petition to modify the parenting plan and order or child support (contained within the parenting plan modification petition).
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/13/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
File a Motion to Modify, get your son to tell the Judge what he wants, then get a hearing and orders. That is the short version, likely your ex-wife is not going to agree, but if she will, this can be quick and painless. If she fights, expect her to do so, then I strongly recommend a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/13/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
In Minnesota, a change of custody is no easy task. Generally, it requires a showing that the child is endangered physically, emotionally or developmentally in the current custodial environment and that the benefit of the change in custody outweighs any harm caused by the change. A court will consider a child's desires only once a threshold case for a change of custody ahas been made. Evern then, the child's desire is one factor among many as the court decides what is in the child's best interests from all the relevant facts available.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 6/10/2011
Palomino Law Firm, P.C.
Palomino Law Firm, P.C. | Debra Palomino
If you already have joint custody, then you should file a Petition to Modify Parenting Time and Child Support. There are restrictions if the last order was entered less than one year ago. The Maricopa County Superior Court has these forms through their Self Service Center.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 6/10/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    You need to file a modification of child custody and child support. File a motion stating that the child wants to come and live with you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    The answer depends on whether both parents agree to the change. If there is complete agreement between you and the mother, then, the matter is relatively simple. An agreed order on modification, an agreed parenting plan, and an agreed child support order have to be prepared and signed by both parents. They are then signed by the judge and the matter is done. If there is no complete agreement between the parents, then, there would have to be, at least, a petition to modify, a threshold hearing, and possibly a trial. Such a process can be complex and expensive depending on the circumstances, with no guarantee of success.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law, the fact that your child wants to change residences is not enough in itself to obtain a modification of the parenting plan. To obtain the a modification you will need to meet one of the statutory factors, which primarily are that the parents have agreed to the change or that continuing to live with the other parent would be detrimental to the child. The steps for a modification are to file and serve a modification action, potentially after having sought dispute resolution on the issue, have a hearing for the court to decide if there is adequate cause for the action to move forward, and then proceed towards trial or settlement. You may want to request a parenting evaluation to get a report supporting your argument.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Arnold & Wadsworth
    Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
    You need to file a Petition to Modify and make sure you meet all the state requirements. Make sure your financial declaration is perfect.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    I would recommend that you consult with a family law attorney in your community about your options concerning the filing of a modification action as to a change of custody. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    You would need to file a motion to modify custody. From there, the family relations office will try to assist you in reaching a new agreement or will evaluate for screening. You need to show a substantial change in circumstances and a strong reason for the change in custody.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    File a motion with the court to modify custody and child support, with an attached declaration containing supporting facts that would warrant a change of custody, including proper child support calculations. You can seek assistance at the legal self-help center at your local courthouse, or contact a local family law lawyer for assistance.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    File a motion to modify custody, alleging there has been a material change in the custodial household resulting in the child's best interest being served by changing custody. If you were willing, you may do it by agreement, if the other side could get away with no support payment they may agree. You'd have to feed that 13yr old, but your support obligation would stop. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    The desire of a child is legally insufficient to provide a basis for a change in custody. There is a statute and many cases that deal with modification of child custody and child support; but there is no case that supports that a child can determine where they will live. To go into all the other reasons would require a book. Call to discuss. Thanks.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    I'm sorry,but this is not an easy issue to answer due to the variation in state laws. Please see a local domestic relations attorney to explore the change you seek.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    In Georgia, you would need to retain an attorney to file a child custody modification action. Your child's wishes should be given great weight given his age.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Brian Walker Law Firm, P.C.
    Brian Walker Law Firm, P.C. | Brian Walker
    The factors which affect whether a parenting plan may be modified, and where the child may live, are many and varied. In general, if the other party agrees, then the modification should be a snap. Usually, however, this is not the case and you must show that there has been a substantial change in the circumstances of either the child or the other party, and that the change in custody would not be detrimental to the child. You really need to sit down with a family law professional to discuss your options.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    There are no guarantees you will succeed. But you can try. Your first step is to hire a lawyer. Without one it is highly unlikely that you will have any chance of success. A lawyer can assess your chances and properly navigate the case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    You would have to file a modification motion and prove it is in the child's best interests.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    In Washington you need to file a petition to modify the parenting plan. That will be dismissed unless you have adequate cause.What has changed since the last parenting plan. That would probably be at least part of your adequate cause. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    You need to file a motion to modify the parenting plan. That will be based on an overall assessment of what is in the child's best interest - not simply what the child wants. If a modification resulting in a change of residence occurs (either by mutual agreement or by judicial ruling), that will justify a modification of child support. But, depending on the actual financial circumstances it may or may not result in stopping child support - it might only reduce what you now have to pay. But, even if you and the mother can work out an agreement, there must a new court order.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    You file a motion to modify custody, visitation, and support. If you are in my area and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    You must file with the court a motion to modify child custody and child support. If mother agrees, then you can file a stipulated (or agreed) judgment modifying child custody and terminating your support.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C.
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C. | Carlos Gonzalez
    File a Petition for custody if there has been a change of circumstances leading to the proposed change or wait till the child is 14 and the court will consider the Childs opinion at that age with great weight.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/9/2011
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