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Divorce Order Modifications in Rhode Island

How to Modify an Existing Child Support or Custody Order

Even the most amicable divorces and separations can still lead to arrangements that become untenable in future years. As jobs and other family dynamics change, your child custody and child support agreements may need to change with them. At Moyer Law, PC, we recognize the undue stress you may be feeling if a court order that was supposed to improve the lives of you and your children is now operating to your detriment. We want to help you renegotiate the terms of your arrangement so your family can flourish.

Contact our Rhode Island divorce modification attorneys at (401) 305-2934 to get started on your case. Moyer Law, PC is backed by decades of experience.

Child Custody Modifications in Rhode Island

Though the court may have had the final say in a previous child custody decision, you are not powerless in this situation. A modification to your arrangement can be made if there is a material change in your life that will have an impact on your child’s well-being. Our lawyers can serve as your fierce advocates and draft a request to the court that demonstrates the undeniable benefits of approving your modifications.

Reasons to modify a child custody agreement may include:

  • One parent is moving to a new location
  • One parent has a new job with different working hours
  • There are changes to the child or parent’s physical or mental health
  • There are allegations of substance or child abuse

What Are Grounds to Request a Child Support Modification?

In Rhode Island, child support is based on income and available resources, along with other factors such as daycare costs, medical insurance costs, or the number of other minor children. If there is a significant change in circumstances as it relates to any of these factors, the courts can open the door to a review.

The judge determines what constitutes a "significant change in circumstances."

Changes that often precede child support modifications include:

  • Change in the healthcare expenses of the child
  • New children born or adopted into the family
  • Cost of living adjustments
  • Job loss or salary reductions
  • Pay or salary increase of at least 10%
  • Incarceration or serious medical impairment of one parent

There are two other ways to “open the door” for a child support modification. First, by statute, the courts will consider there to be a change in circumstances automatically if it has been more than three years since the existing child support order was entered. The other method for a review occurs automatically every time child support guidelines are updated, which occurs every five years or so in the state of Rhode Island.

Example of a Child Support Modification:

Bob and Lisa have two children and have been divorced for two years. Bob is paying child support to Lisa per the “guidelines.” Lisa has another child with her new husband. Lisa gets a pay raise of 20%. Bob files for a change in support. Both the new child and the pay raise constitute a significant change in circumstances. The door is open, but the support only changes by 50 cents per week. Lisa's pay raise reduces Bob’s support obligation, but when calculating support, Lisa now gets a deduction from her new income for her new child, balancing out the change.

Contact Moyer Law, PC to Discuss Your Options

If you are seeking a post-divorce modification to alleviate stress and better suit your current lifestyle, trust the legal team at Moyer Law, PC to handle your case with dedication and professionalism.

Contact our Rhode Island divorce modification lawyer at (401) 305-2934 to take the first step. We serve clients throughout RI from our office in Warwick.

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