At the Piatchek Law Firm, our attorneys can help you with custody and support modifications, including changes to child support, maintenance, or alimony amounts that you are paying or being paid. We can also assist you in modifying the terms of your current child support, custody, visitation, or alimony arrangement. If you are seeking to modify such an arrangement, this typically means that since the date that the arrangement was ordered, there have been substantial changes in the circumstances involving your arrangement that have rendered the old plan unreasonable, undesirable, or perhaps even impossible.
In our experience, most modifications are contested matters. However, there is a significant minority of cases in which the parties are in agreement and engage in either a cooperative modification or an uncontested modification.
Uncontested Modifications and Cooperative Modifications
In an uncontested modification, the other party simply does not oppose the changes you are requesting. In a cooperative modification, the other party is in full agreement with the changes you are requesting and actively participates in the process by willingly and cooperatively signing all necessary documents to put the modification into place.
Most modifications are NOT uncontested or cooperative. However, if you feel that your case is cooperative, we should be able to handle your modification case quickly and easily. If your case is cooperative, all of the following attributes should describe your situation:
- Both parties agree that a modification is necessary.
- Both parties are willing to cooperate with one another.
- Both parties agree on all changes to child custody, visitation, support, and custody issues
- Both parties are willing to sign appropriate legal documents for the modification.
In most counties, a court appearance is not required in a cooperative modification. In addition, during an uncontested modification, a thirty-day waiting period is not required before the judge will grant the modification. On average, we can have everything finalized within a couple of weeks after filing the documents with the court. The benefits of an uncontested modification include the following:
- Uncontested modifications typically cost less than contested modifications.
- Uncontested modifications typically take less time than contested proceedings.
- Uncontested modifications do not require a court appearance in most counties if one party hires an attorney.
Please understand that in an uncontested modification, our firm can only represent one of the parties, usually the party asking for the modification. Attorneys in Missouri will not represent both parties, because this would likely be a conflict of interest.
As we stated above, most modification cases are contested. Most parties are not in agreement regarding potential changes to child custody or visitation, child support, maintenance, or alimony. When the parties are not in agreement, we will fight for your rights, making strong and well-reasoned arguments to convey that the old custody or support arrangement is no longer appropriate and a new arrangement is warranted.
We will first meet with you to go over the facts of your case. We will work with you to determine what changes in circumstances have taken place in either your life or the other party’s life that would merit a change in custody or support. Then, we will identify the most appropriate and effective arguments in favor of the modification and use them to represent you vigorously in court. With our help, you can be sure that your arguments are heard and you are in the best position possible to receive a favorable outcome.
If you have any other questions about custody and support modifications, please call the Piatchek Law Firm at 417-882-5858 for more information.