Modification is a term used to describe changing a court order. In Family Law modification, in general, most always applies to changing a child custody arrangement or a child support order. A child support modification is based upon a change in income. For a modification in child support the criteria are based upon income changes such as whether there is new income, more income or reduction of income and whether it was voluntary or involuntary. Just like in the original proceeding, a party cannot choose to become unemployed or take a job making less money and have their child support obligation reduced. Income will be imputed if there is voluntary un or under employment.
In order to modify a custody arrangement you must show that there has been a substantial, permanent and material change in circumstance. If you don't show this, the family law attorney on the other side will move the court to dismiss your motion to modify.
What Constitutes a Substantial, Permanent and Material Change of Circumstance?
There are many things which can add up to a change that is substantial enough to warrant a change in circumstances for custody arrangements. In general, the change must not be a temporary situation or one that was known about at the time of the original proceedings. Good examples are an employment transfer to another area, a change in living situation that puts a child in a potentially unfavorable situation or change in or lack of parental supervision resulting in poor school performance or social interaction.
In addition to proving that there has been a change that would warrant a modification, the suggested modification itself must comply with the best interests of the child. These are the same set of criteria that the divorce attorneys put before the judge and the judge decided upon in the original proceedings.
The Idaho Child Support Guidelines are used to set all child support amounts in Idaho. Your divorce lawyer or custody attorney will calculate child support using these guidelines. They are a set of considerations used to prevent child support from being a one-six fits all determination. The guidelines use considerations such as each parent is financially obligated to provide for their child's support and regardless of your income the percentage of your income used to support a child is fairly consistent. In addition, the guidelines provide situations for offsetting child support amounts. For example, child support can be offset by who gets the tax deductions on a child and who pays the health insurance premium and the out-of-pocket medicals. It can also be off-set by who pays the day care as well as several other factors such as the percentage of overnight visits.
Your Boise divorce lawyers or custody attorneys can negotiate factors that can increase or decrease child support amounts. If you have less than 25% of overnights with your child, your child support will be more. If you increase your overnights, your child support will go down. That is a fairly standard equation, but there are situations where the change in the amount of child support is based upon less enumerated factors. If you child has a disability, for example, the court can place more support burden on one parent or the other depending upon the factors surrounding the situation.
While child support is a fairly standard equation, there are many factors which can alter your support amount.
Domestic Violence is handled in the family law court and by family law attorneys. There is a procedure that allows the victim of domestic violence to go to court and ask for a temporary restraining order. The initial order is only temporary because if enough evidence is shown to the court the court will issue a restraining order against the alleged perpetrator without them being present to defend themselves from the allegations against them.
After the temporary restraining order expires it can be reaffirmed as a more permanent order, say for example for a year, or it can be quashed. If the court finds that the evidence put forward by the victim or their attorney is founded and not disputed or shown to be false by the otherside, the order will not stand.
Adoption & Termination
Termination of parental rights is always done in conjunction with adoption (though there are other situations where one might terminate their parental rights not in conjunction with adoption). In order for adoptive parents to have legal rights for their adopted child, the child's birth parents' rights must be terminated. Once the birth parents' rights have been terminated the adoption can proceed.
In addition to termination, adoption has several steps that are required by Idaho law. One example of the additional steps is to have a home study. The couple seeking to adopt a child will have their home and many aspects of their lives, including their fitness reviewed by a professional to ensure that they are fit to be parents.
If you have a family law issue and need to speak to a Boise Family Law Attorney, please give us a call at 208-472-2383 and see what we can do for you.