What Can I Expect At The Modification Hearing?
A week or so leading up to the modification hearing, we conduct an intensive prep meeting with our clients. Since the pandemic, we have prepared them on how to present a case virtually. Once the pandemic is over, some of these virtual aspects may stick around for certain hearings. Now, our firm represents people from all across the world. For instance, if a client is in the military in a foreign country, we can use technology to get them ready to present their case, or even appear for a mediation to possible reach a settlement agreement on the modification request. We will tell them how to appear on the screen. If we’re doing it in person, we advise them on how to address the judge and how to be sure and answer questions. We go through some practical tips on how our clients should dress and present themselves because perception is reality. The first time a judge sees or hears from you, that can be a lasting impression. That’s why we spend time on those points.
We normally have an outline of topics and questions that our client will be asked. And so, we prepare the client by going through the case and details that we will be presenting through the question and answer format. Then, we get the client ready for the questions they may get from the other side. We advise them on how to address the opposing attorney, and how to be professional – especially not letting any bad side show. Many times, in family court, the judge is used to hearing he-said-she-said all day. The judge may predict that mom’s going to come in and say she’s the best parent while dad’s going to come in and says he’s the best parent. What matters are your actions. If a person gets frustrated about the questions they’re being asked or can’t be responsive, they can be seen as giving bad insubstantial answers. That’s why we spend time preparing our clients.
Can A Request Or Petition To Modify A Decree Be Challenged Or Can A Final Decision To A Modification Be Appealed?
After a court enters an order, most states give you 30 days to appeal, even if it’s on a modification. There’s usually also an option to ask the court to reconsider the order. If you go for a modification hearing and don’t like the answer the judge initially gives, you can submit what’s called a motion to correct error. Judges are human too. They can miscalculate a number on a child support modification or misunderstand some records from the school. And so, it is possible to file a motion to challenge it. The parties also have a right to appeal if they are not satisfied with the court’s final decision. People generally have the same rights to challenge orders on a modification just like when they were initially divorced.
Would A Judge Or Court Ever Dismiss A Custody Or Child Support Modification Petition?
In Kentucky, if a child custody or child support modification petition has been filed in the first two years, and there is no proof on the face of the document that the child is or has been seriously endangered, the court could choose to dismiss the modification petition without a hearing. In Indiana, there is a limit on child support orders. The court’s only going to look at a petition once every year. If somebody is asking to modify a child support order, and it was filed three months after the initial order, the court would dismiss it without a hearing unless there was a major change in circumstances.
All of the cases we deal with are factually sensitive. Simply stating in a petition that there’s been a substantial and continuing change of circumstances doesn’t mean that in reality, or in the court’s eyes, that there is a substantial and continuing change of circumstances. You also have to attach an affidavit. That’s when most people need good representation. They may know how to download a motion off of the internet or get a motion from the courthouse, but they don’t know how to professionally prepare it for the judge to see it and take it seriously. A person may have a legitimate circumstance they’re trying to bring up, but if they don’t know how to present it in a way that passes muster with the law and gets through the judge’s desk, it will likely get dismissed.
For more information on Family Law In Kentucky, an initial consultation is your best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (502) 512-0024 today.
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