Is bankruptcy a substantial change in circumstances?


#1

I have a consent order that was signed in May 2009, and was in negotiations since September of 2008. I agreed to less than 1/2 of the child support to which I was entitled and a custody arrangment that was based upon living in close proximity to my ex… less than 1/2 a mile, and the children are on the same bus route to both houses, just different stops.

I have recently experienced financial hardship, and may be filing for bankruptcy in the upcoming months. I may not be able to afford to stay in my home.

Moreso than wanting to change the amount of money paid monthly , my fear is that if I must move to a different residence, that my ex will try to prevent me from taking the children with me, since any move will almost guarantee a change in elementary schools. I have the children approximately 60% of the time, and our schedule is a 3/2 exchange, which will make school transitions challenging.

So, my question is this… Is it likely that the court would view bankruptcy and relocation within the county as a substantial change in circumstances? Even though the signed consent order is just a few months old?


#2

Your bankruptcy is not a substantial change affecting the best interests of the children unless you no longer have the ability to provide for their reasonable needs. As for the move, a court may consider a change in residence/school district a substantial change, however my thoughts are that if you live in close proximity to your ex (close enough not to make the visitation schedule unmanageable) the court would not consider the change substantial enough to revisit custody.