Modifications of existing child custody and visitation orders or decrees are dealt with differently under Iowa law. For example, the party seeking the modification has the burden of proving that a material change in circumstances has occurred since the entry of the last order or decree. Even if a material change is indeed proven, the court still will not automatically grant a modification. The court must still evaluate the individual facts and circumstances of the case to determine whether the modification is in the best interests of the children.
Attorneys at Culp, Doran & Genest, P.L.C., a Des Moines law firm, we frequently represent clients in proceedings involving modification of decrees governing child custody, visitation and support. Events leading to post-decree modification include:
- A parent's work schedule changes, making an adjustment in a parenting time schedule necessary if the parent is to continue to have substantial time with the child.
- The child's development indicates that it would be to the child's benefit to spend more time with one parent than what the current child custody decree provides.
- The child has reached an age where the court will honor the child's preference as far as which parent to live with.
- A change in one parent's income indicates a change in child support.
- Parental relocation out of state necessitates an adjustment in the terms of joint custody.
- The primary custodial parent wants to relocate out of state with the child, and the other parent objects to removal of the child from the jurisdiction.
- A change in the circumstances of an ex-spouse indicates a change in alimony/spousal support.
Whenever possible, our family law lawyers help our clients resolve these issues through mediation and negotiation. However, we prepare every case for trial and are fully prepared to litigate if necessary. If you are in the process of selecting an attorney for modification of custody, visitation, child support or alimony, we invite you to email us or call our office at 515-288-3333. One of our lawyers will reply to your email or take your call and, if you are interested, arrange an in-office consultation.