An existing court order for child visitation or custody can be modified. If you have decided to seek a modified child custody order, then you first need to be aware of the various forms of custody that are possible for you to obtain through a court judgment. Then, you should understand the steps you will need to follow to have your modification request considered and decided by the court.
Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC is here to help you through the process and to provide the results-driven representation you need. From our office in South Jordan, you can count on our child custody modification lawyers to stand up for you as you fight to achieve your goals in Salt Lake County and Utah County.
Should I Get A Lawyer For Child Support Modification?
Hiring a lawyer may be a good choice to ensure you receive the very best outcome. A child support lawyer can help with your case by assisting you in various matters such as: Discussing the legal matters and what you should anticipate at every stage of the court proceedings.
Is It Hard to Modify Custody?
Modifying child custody is not a simple process. You must be able to demonstrate a significant change in circumstance that warrants a modification of the original custody order. You will also need to complete certain legal forms, file them with the court, pay fees, and ensure that you have a strong argument for your case. All of this is best accomplished with the professional, experienced representation of a modification attorney in Salt Lake County.
Steps for Filing a Petition for Child Custody Modification in Utah
Filing a petition with the Utah court to modify an existing child custody order requires several steps.
To do so, you will have to:
- Explain how you would like the existing custody order to be changed. Keep in mind that the court may not give you what you ask for.
- Pay a filing fee.
- File all required child custody modification forms with the Clerk of the Court.
- Have the other party properly served with copies of all papers you are filing with the court, and with the Writ of Summons, which the Civil Clerk of the Court will provide.
- File a Request for Hearing or Proceeding (your Petition to Modify Child Custody will not be sufficient to get your case heard in court. You may also be required to file a Request for Hearing or Proceeding).
- Educate yourself on what will be expected in addressing your case in court, what you should expect to happen in court, and what should be done if/when various issues arise in a custody proceeding.
- Attend the court hearing.
How to Succeed in Your Child Custody Modification Case
Child custody cases are typically among the most complex and difficult kinds for judges to decide. If your petition for a custody modification is being contested by the other party, you should not proceed with your case alone. Contact a qualified Salt Lake County child custody modification lawyer to help you through the legal process and to stand with you in court.
Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC can ensure that:
- All legal requirements are met at every stage of the process
- All Utah court system procedural rules are obeyed
- Your rights under Utah and U.S. federal law are fully protected
Keep in mind that nearly two dozen forms are required by the court in petitioning for modification of a child custody order.
A court can only modify child custody orders over which it has legal “jurisdiction.” Determining jurisdiction can be quite complex. If the current order was issued by a court in another state, or if the child or parents reside outside of Utah, the question of jurisdiction can become complicated. Before you pursue a custody modification, let us help you determine the appropriate jurisdiction in which to file your petition.
Alternative Dispute Resolution for Child Custody
When you have an existing order for joint physical or legal custody, it probably states what kinds of dispute resolution must be undertaken before either parent can file a petition for modification. For example, the controlling order may require parents to work with a professional mediator to attempt to resolve a custody dispute before petitioning the court.
Changes Justifying a Custody Modification Request
If both parents do not agree to the requested child custody modification, the court is required to establish grounds for child custody modification. It must evaluate changes in circumstances that may have occurred after the existing order was issued by the court, and it must decide whether modifying the existing custody order would better serve the best interests of the child.
Utah courts may approve a custody modification request if:
- A parent has moved to a different community
- The child must change schools
- A parent has remarried
Call Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC
Our team is dedicated to providing high-quality legal counsel, to fully protecting your rights, and to helping you and your family move beyond difficult legal issues. Our Salt Lake County child custody modification attorneys have extensive experience helping parents achieve their goals.
Call (801) 515-4133 now to get started on your case.
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