How to File a Motion to Change a Family Law Court's Order

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In a family law court, a motion to modify requests that the court change existing orders due to a change in a family situation. For this motion to be valid, supporting materials and substantial change in circumstances need to be proven.The changes being requested must be in the interest of the child if there are children involved. There are various factors that can qualify you to file a motion to change a family law court order. Among them are child support concerns, alimony, change in income or residency and change in parental.

1 Download the forms

Download the forms from your family law court website or visit the family court clerk office to get the appropriate form packet. Bring a copy of your court order that has the name of the case and the docket number of the order. Purchase a copy of your existing court order from the court clerk’s office if you misplaced yours.

2 Fill out

Fill out in the heading part of the forms the location of the court, the docket number, the name of the plaintiff(you) and the defendant (your spouse or party to the initial agreement). In the motion to modify form, check the boxes that indicate which changes are to be modified. Fill in the child information form if there are children involved in the case. Provide the date of the existing court order in the new forms.

3 Fill out an affidavit

Fill out an affidavit that will be submitted with the motion to modify forms. An affidavit explains why you need to change the family law court order. State real and substantial changes that have occurred since the last court order was issued. Explain how the changes you want implemented are in the best interest of the child. Indicate which specific changes you want to be reflected in the new court order. Sign the affidavit before a notary public such as an attorney or a court clerk.

4 File

File the motion to modify and the affidavit with the court clerk. Serve the defendant with copies of these documents and obtain proof that you have served him. Proof of service can be in the form of a signed acknowledgment from the defendant, mailing receipt or a signed statement from the sheriff if you served through the sheriff’s office.

5 Pay the filing fee

Pay the filing fee to the court clerk or request a waiver if you cannot afford this fee. Fill out and file an Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis, which you can get from the court clerk’s office. The judge will accept your waiver request if you are unemployed, if your income is from a public assistance program or if your income is too low to meet your basic needs and to file for the motion at the same time. Sign it in the presence of a notary public and submit it with the modification form and the affidavit.

6 Write out a new agreement

Write out a new agreement if you and the other party have agreed to all modifications. You do not need a court hearing if all modifications are agreed upon. Sign the agreement before a notary public and file the signed agreement with the motion to modify to the court clerk. The judge will then issue a newly modified family law court order.

Gordon Phillip started his writing career in 2004. His work has appeared in "Mackinack Magazine," among other publications. Phillip is a graduate of Warwick Business School at the University of Warwick, where he studied English literature.