Milestones for Re-Examining Parenting Plan

Milestones for Re-Examining Parenting Plan

When you got divorced, you and your spouse had a parenting plan set up for children.

You may be wondering if that parenting plan can be modified.

In this article, we will list milestones you should pay attention to for re-examining your parenting plan.

Changes in the Needs of Your Child

If there have been changes in the needs of your child since your original parenting plan was established, then it is a good time to ask for a re-examination of your parenting plan.

Examples of these changes might include:

  • Medical Needs: Your child may develop additional or new medical needs. These needs could result in higher medical costs, additional resources needed for care, or additional time investment to treat your child(ren).  In this type of situation, it would be absolutely reasonable to re-examine child support and ask for a modification.
  • The Behavior of Child: As your grows, he/she may act out towards one or both parents.  In fact, some of this is probably to be expected, puberty is rough for everyone!   If the custodial parent is not taking the proper actions to help the child grow in a healthy way (mentally or physically), or you believe their emotional and social challenges to be caused by what is going on at home, you can ask that you become the custodial parent or to otherwise modify the parenting plan to address these issues. 
  • Age of child: When your child becomes a teenager, he or she may voice their opinion about what parent they would rather live with. The court will take their opinion into consideration and possibly modify the parenting plan.

Financial Changes

If one parent’s financial situation changes, it might be time to re-examine the parenting plan.  For example, if the custodial parent loses their job, then he/she can request a child support modification.  Another example is if the non-custodial parent takes a pay cut, then he or she can request a child support modification.

Changes in Family Makeup

If a child reaches the age of majority, then child support will need to be modified.  Also, if custody changes from one parent to the other by any of the children, then child support will also need to be modified.

Relocation

If the custodial parent wants to relocate, then the parenting plan does not necessarily need to be re-examined unless the non-custodial parent can prove there has been a substantial change that affects the welfare of the child.  The court may also look at how a relocation will affect the relationship between the child and the non-relocating parent.  Other things the court will look at are:

  • Best interest of the child
  • Reason for relocation
  • Degree to which it would improve the child’s health, education, and general circumstances

South Carolina Law

South Carolina Law (S.C. Code Ann. § 63-15-240(B)) lists factors that the court should consider when determining what is in the best interest of your child.  A few of these are:

  1. The temperament and developmental needs of the child;
  2. The preferences of each minor child;
  3. The capacity and disposition of the parents to understand and meet the needs of the child;
  4. The wishes of each parent as to custody;
  5. The past and current interaction and relationship of the child with each parent, the child’s siblings, and relatives who may significantly affect the best interest of the child;
  6. The actions of each parent to encourage the continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent, including compliance with court orders;
  7. Any manipulation by or coercive behavior of the parents to involve the child in the parents’ dispute;
  8. Any effort by one parent to disparage the other parent in front of the child;
  9. The ability of each parent to be actively involved in the life of the child;
  10. The child’s adjustment to his or home, school, and community environments; and
  11. The stability of the child’s existing and proposed residences.

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4 Situations That Would Make You Need an Alimony Modification

4 Situations That Would Make You Need an Alimony Modification

When you and your spouse got divorced, the court ordered one of you to pay alimony.

Can your alimony be modified?  Changed?

Not all types of alimony can be modified; only permanent periodic alimony and rehabilitative alimony can be modified.

Here are four situations that could lead to an alimony modification.

Circumstances Have Changed

If the recipient of the alimony remarries or registers as a domestic partner, this will necessitate an alimony modification.

Alimony is only paid on a permanent basis until the supported spouse remarries, lives with another person for at least 90 days, or until either spouse dies.

Financial Ability has Changed

If the provider loses their job or they get a decrease in pay, they may ask for alimony modifications.  They will need to prove that their pay is less and that they can no longer pay the current amount of alimony and still be able to support themselves.  On the other hand, if the recipient loses their job or gets a decrease in pay, they can ask for alimony modifications.

Retirement

If the supporting spouse is retiring, then they may ask for alimony modifications.  The court will consider the following:

  • whether retirement was contemplated when alimony was awarded;
  • the age of the supporting spouse;
  • the health of the supporting spouse;
  • whether the retirement is mandatory or voluntary;
  • whether retirement would result in a decrease in the supporting spouse’s income; and
  • any other factors the court sees fit to evaluate.

Rehabilitative Amount has Changed

As the recipient, if you are receiving vocational training or you have gone back to school to gain skills and education necessary to be able to support yourself, and the amount you need to for that purpose has changed, you can ask for alimony modifications.

You would need to be able to prove that you need further support and that the only way to be able to support yourself is to complete the training or schooling.

Your spouse can also ask for alimony modifications if you have completed your degree or training.

Things to Understand

Here is a cheat sheet of bullet points for you on this topic:

  • You or your spouse must prove that there has been a significant change in circumstances to justify alimony modifications.
  • Alimony modifications will only be made for unanticipated changes in circumstances.  This means that it was a change that neither party expected to happen when the original agreement for alimony was made.
  • Once the court determines they can modify your alimony, they must consider the same factors that were used for the original alimony order to decide what the new order should be.
  • Alimony modifications can be either permanent or temporary depending on the reasoning behind the modification.
  • We will help you figure this out.  Contact us to help with your alimony modifications.

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