Rockville Order Modification


Rockville Order Modification Lawyers

Helping modify or contest child custody, child support, and alimony orders in Montgomery County

Order Modification R

Judges normally will not consider a modification of any continuing family law order unless there is a major change in circumstances. Continuing orders are orders that last until a child turns 18, a spouse dies, or other certain events occur. Most equitable distributions, for example, are final orders. They transfer property rights immediately so there is no basis (outside of fraud) to modify them later. Family law judges understand how hard spouses and their lawyers work to negotiate or litigate child support, child custody, or alimony orders. They do not want spouses or parents running into court for minor conflicts that should already be worked out. However, they will consider major changes.

At McCabe Russell, PA, our Rockville family lawyers represent spouses and parents who seek to modify orders when they are in the best interests of the children or the spouses. We also represent clients who believe the current child custody, child support, and alimony orders are just fine the way they are. For example, if a parent wants to move to another state, we seek to modify the child custody to accommodate the person who is moving. We also assert the rights of the parent who worries the move to the other state may jeopardize their child’s security or well-being.

Why would parents in Rockville seek to modify a child custody order?

There are two types of custody – legal custody and physical custody. Usually, parents who wish to modify a child custody order want to modify the physical custody part of the order.

Legal custody is the authority of either or both parents to decide what schools the children will attend, their religious upbringing, and what doctors will provide their medical care. Parents may seek to modify legal custody if a parent is incapable of making competent long-term decisions for their child due to substance abuse, incarceration, or other reasons.

Physical custody orders determine where the children sleep and live each day of the year, including holidays and the vacation schedules of the parents. Physical custody orders also require that the parent with physical custody provide food, clothing, and the comforts of living to the children. Parents who have physical custody need to make sure their children attend school, engage in social activities, and are disciplined when necessary.

Family law judges expect that parents will communicate with each other. For example, judges expect that if you need to change the date when you spend time with your children due to work or illness, that you will let the other parent know – and that the other parent will trade off the time you lose with your children for another time.

Our Rockville family lawyers assert and contest child custody modification requests in the following circumstances, among others:

  • Relocation. This is a primary reason for modification requests. If a parent needs to move to another state to earn a better or more secure living or to live with a new person in their life, the judge will normally agree to a change to the parenting plan. Common changes include providing that the children stay with the parent whose home is in the child’s school district and spend several months in the summer with the other parent. Judges generally do not like to move children to another school district unless it is in the child’s best interests.The non-moving parent has the right to ensure the modified custody orders can be enforced in Maryland and the other state. Non-moving parents do have the right to know who the stepparent or new partner of the moving parent is and the ability of that person to care for their children.
  • Illness. If a parent’s health prevents them from taking care of their child, the other parent can seek to modify the physical custody parenting plan. Examples of ill health may include substance abuse or serious diseases.
  • A parent remarries. It is healthy for parents to enter new relationships and to remarry. However, the other parent has the right to seek a modification of the physical custody order if the new relationship/marriage negatively impacts the child’s welfare. The parent who remarries may seek a modification because the marriage may mean they have more time to spend with their children.
  • The child’s health needs. If a child has developmental disabilities or any special needs, a family judge may modify the physical custody order to ensure the child can get to the doctors, special schools, or other care facilities that the child needs to develop.
  • A change in a parent’s work schedule. Parents need to be home with their children during the time they have custody. If a new job or a long-term change in work hours affects a parent’s time with their child, a modification of the child custody order may be justified.

At McCabe Russell, PA, we work to ensure modifications of child custody orders are warranted and that the basis for the change and the specific changes are filed properly and made part of a new court order.

When are Rockville child support modifications justified?

Rockville child support orders are based on the number of children, the ages of the children, whether there are children from a prior relationship, the income of the parents, and the child custody order. Children should be able to live as closely as possible to the way they lived prior to the divorce. One parent normally must pay a preset amount every month (or another regular time frame) and also ensure that the child has health insurance.

Some of the reasons the parent who pays support, or the parent who receives child support, may seek a modification include:

  • Loss of a job or obtaining a better-paying job
  • The health of parent changes, and they cannot work for a significant period
  • The child’s needs change substantially due to a disability, unique educational needs, or other reasons
  • The child custody arrangement changes so that the parent paying support has substantially more (or less) time with a child
  • The parent who is paying support becomes a parent again

Parents can also agree to extend child support if a child is admitted into a college or trade school.

Can you modify a Rockville alimony order?

There are three types of alimony in Maryland that affect your ability to modify an order. Generally, you cannot modify alimony pendent lite because this type of alimony is only due while the divorce is pending. Once the divorce is over, there is no basis for modifying it.

Rehabilitative alimony is normally a lump sum payment or a series of payments to enable your ex-spouse to obtain the training or skills they need to earn a living. Indefinite alimony is long-term alimony due for a period of years or the lifetime of either spouse because the spouse receiving alimony is unable to earn a living and it is too late to be rehabilitated.

You can seek to modify rehabilitative or indefinite alimony:

  • If you lose your job or your salary is substantially reduced, provided the loss or reduction is involuntary
  • Your spouse’s income substantially increases
  • You develop health problems that affect your ability to earn a living
  • The spouse who is receiving alimony remarries

Family law judges will examine requests to reduce alimony very carefully because they directly affect your spouse’s income or ability to earn an income.

Can protective or peace orders be modified in Rockville?

Montgomery County courts sign protective orders and peace orders to protect adults and children from abuse. These orders are normally temporary but can be made permanent if certain conditions apply which relate to the length of the sentence, how much time has been served, and whether the person seeking relief is the person who was abused.

The person who was abused can seek to lengthen any orders and the person who is subject to the order can seek to modify or rescind the order, based on proper grounds as set forth in the Maryland statutes.

Types of Cases We Handle

Our Rockville family law attorneys handle a variety of cases, including:

Talk with an experienced child custody and child support modification attorney

Montgomery judges will consider modifications of child custody, child support, and other orders – but only for good cause. At McCabe Russell, PA, our Rockville family lawyers assert and defend modification requests for all types of family orders. We advocate for our clients in court and with your ex-spouse’s lawyer. To discuss any modification request, please call us at 443-241-9017 or fill out our contact form to make an appointment.

Rockville Office

199 E Montgomery Ave
Suite 100
Rockville, Maryland 20850
Phone: (443) 812-1435