Iowa Family Law Modification Lawyers
Once you receive a final judgment, order, or decree for your Iowa family law case, it can be difficult, sometimes impossible, to get changes or modifications made. Usually, family law modifications are only approved for substantial changes, which were not known or contemplated at the time the order was entered.
If substantial and unforeseen changes occurred, the courts may consider your reasons for modifying your arrangements. If you need a modification to any legally binding document that pertains to family law in Cedar Rapids, you will benefit from working with a modification lawyer.
The team at Arenson Law Group, PC handles many different family law cases throughout Cedar Rapids and the neighboring Iowa communities, and may be able to help you with your modification needs. We offer free initial consultations, so speaking with us carries no obligations. Call one of our Iowa family law attorneys today at (319) 363-8199 so we can discuss your options for a modification.
Why You May Need to Make a Modification
Generally, divorce and/or custody agreements and decrees, as well as other legal family law documents are final and binding. They are meant to account for everything involved in splitting up a family or otherwise resolving your family law dispute. Altering these documents months or years after they’ve been approved by the Judge is a serious matter, not taken lightly or changed on a whim.
If you are asking for a modification, it’s likely because something changed, and it is permanent, involuntary, and unanticipated. Types of modifications that people may seek to their custody or divorce agreements or decrees, for example, may include:
- Increasing or decreasing child support payments
- Increasing or decreasing alimony payments
- Changing parent time-sharing schedules
- Adjusting the parenting plan
- Changing custody
Many times, the modification request comes as a result of changes in a parent’s life. Loss of a job or an increase in salary could require an adjustment of payments. Relocating to a new area or even a different state may require a new court order and modification. You might undergo treatment for a disease and need the children to spend more time with the other parent while you recover.
Other times, the modification happens because one parent is providing an unstable environment for the child or children. There may be evidence of drug usage, physical or sexual abuse, unsanitary living conditions, or other problems.
The Process of Serving a Modification in Iowa
If you believe you need and qualify for modification under Iowa’s laws, a modification action may be started in the original case file by filing the proper legal document to start the modification process. Once the document has been filed and the filing fee paid or waived, the other, non-modifying party, must be served according to Iowa’s rules for service.
At this point, the courts may require that you and the other parent meet in an official mediation to discuss the modification. This is your opportunity to discuss your position and evidence with the mediator and other party to show why you believe your modification is justified. If an agreement is reached at mediation, once it is in writing, signed by the parties, and submitted to the Court for approval, the modification goes into effect. If no agreement is reached at mediation, the matter continues on, eventually, to trial for a Judge to decide.
Remember, the courts are typically reluctant to make changes to an order once it is finalized. You will have to show clear evidence that this change is needed and that it benefits your children in the best way possible or is otherwise authorized by Iowa’s laws. To do this most effectively, you will want to consider hiring a Cedar Rapids modification lawyer.
How a Lawyer Might Assist With Your Modification
Most likely, the family law attorney you speak with has already handled many cases with modifications and done so successfully. Family lawyers know that this area of law is very sensitive and difficult, so they will treat you and anyone else involved with as much compassion as possible as you navigate this big life change.
A lawyer can help you through each step of the process. They will make sure the papers are drafted properly and your evidence complies with the necessary proof to obtain your objective. Without a lawyer, you have to figure all of that out on your own, and it can feel overwhelming. You want to make sure your case is ironclad; especially because modifications are difficult to obtain and are rarely quick.
In both mediation and the courtroom, the modification attorney can argue your case for you and present your evidence. They may even bring in expert witnesses like child psychologists to illustrate that your modification is the best solution for everyone involved. If your case progresses to a hearing in front of a judge and jury, the lawyer will represent you to ensure that everything goes smoothly. In this type of case, it is recommended that you not leave anything to chance.
Do You Need a Modification Made to Your Final Court Order? Contact Us Now
For many years, the family law attorneys at Arenson Law Group, PC have handled many different cases for families in Cedar Rapids, IA. If you have a final court order, but need to make a modification to it because of a permanent life change or other serious reasons, our legal team may be able to help you with your case. We’ve earned a strong reputation with our clients for our compassionate, effective representation, and we provide excellent customer service. We will communicate with you every step of the way and make sure you understand what is happening.
Your first call to us is completely free with zero obligations, so contact us now at (319) 363-8199 to talk about your modification and learn how we can assist you.
Written by James H. ArensonLast Updated : December 3, 2021