Modifications In Everett And Snohomish County
The law recognizes that most people’s lives change over time. Therefore, Washington allows divorce orders and agreements to be modified. Either party can seek to modify most aspects of a divorce agreement if there has been a substantial change in circumstances. Even if both parties agree to the change, the court needs to approve it.
At Akiona Law, PLLC, in Everett, Washington, we assist clients who are seeking modifications and those who oppose a modification proposed by an ex-spouse or an ex-partner. We help them understand their options and the standard of proof required for each type of modification. Call 425-740-2209 to schedule an appointment with our team of Everett modifications attorneys.
Reasons For Seeking A Modification
In some instances, modification requests arise because one party has experienced a significant change in circumstances:
- Job loss
- Disabling illness or injury
- Other significant life events
A common modification is a result of one of the parties moving away. We counsel clients on the type of notification they need to provide the other parent. In other cases, one of the parties requests a modification because of a more positive occurrence such as a remarriage, a large salary increase or an educational opportunity offered to a child.
Which Agreements Can Be Modified
Ex-spouses or ex-partners are usually able to modify the following legal agreements:
- Parenting plans, child custody and visitation schedules
- Child support
- Spousal support (alimony)
- Moves and relocations
Meeting The Criteria For A Modification
A couple of things must happen in order for a modification to be granted:
- Petitioners need to show a change in circumstances of either the child or the other parent based on new facts or facts unknown to the court when the original final parenting plan was entered.
- The modification has to be in the child’s best interests and must be necessary to serve the child’s best interests.
Modifications can be major such as changing the child’s primary residential parent or custodian. Minor modifications adjust the nonresidential provisions of the parenting plan and do not affect custody of the child. We advise clients about the different modifications and the standards they need to meet in seeking or opposing changes to a parenting plan.
How Often Can A Modification Be Requested?
We advise clients about the frequency with which they can request modifications. For example, our current Washington statutes provide that child support orders can be modified every two years. Other issues that frequently arise include the penalties for bad faith modification requests and if spousal support (alimony) can be modified.