Modifying a Consent order


#1

Any consent order for child custody and visitation may be modified by a court if the court finds that a “change in circumstances” has occurred since the entry of the order. The court then makes a decision based on the best interests of the children. The only other way to change the terms of a consent order is by agreement between both parents.

Lisa M. Angel
Board Certified Family Law Specialist
The Rosen Law Firm
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27607
(919) 781-1741 direct voice
(919) 256-1660 direct fax
(919) 787-6668 main voice
(919) 787-6361 main fax
NCdivorce.com
email: angel@rosen.com

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#2

Thank you for your reply. I have another question along the same lines. We asked if we (her father and I) could see the child (she is 9)every other week from Wednesday night until Sunday night instead of Friday to Sunday (which is the visitation in the consent agreement). The consent agreement also states any additional visitation agreed upon by the parties to foster a healthy relationship with the child. The mother asked us to keep the child the week of the 4th of July holiday so she would not have to pay for an additional week of daycamp and the week she goes on her honeymoon in August and we of course said yes. Last week her attorney informed her that we filed a motion to extend for 30 days and since then she has informed us that starting next month we have to go back to just every other Friday to Sunday and that she will not be staying with us the week of July 4th and we will have to see whether she will stay with us while the mother is on her honeymoon. The child was told she was going to be staying with us both of those weeks and is now very disappointed not to mention the fact that the week of the honeymoon if she does not stay with us she will be watched by several people and be sleeping over several different places during that week. The child also asks us all the time why she cannot be with us one week and her mother the next. Are we stuck in the every other weekend rut because he signed the consent agreement or do we have the right to fight to see the child more often. Everytime we call and ask for additional visitation it is becoming more and more like a game. Any advise from you would be appreciated. thanks.


#3

Hi - I’m not an attorney, so won’t offer you any legal advice, but I can tell you that my husband and I went through this two years ago with his children (although they were a little older). Basically, they just started spending more time with us and it got to the point where they were with us more than her, but she wouldn’t concede in mediation to joint custody. We simply got a lawyer, filed a motion for custody - no response really. Then, our lawyer sent papers on discovery- digging into financial info and what not, that got results pretty quick. So even if you don’t have the money, find it, and get a lawyer that will go to bat for you and your stepdaughter. Honestly, I don’t understand why parents don’t do the joint “physical” custody thing when they divorce. As long as there’s no problem with school logistics and such. Custodial parents that use it as a control thing are disgusting creatures and they hide behind “what is best for MY child”. Ugh. Anyways - you sound like a pretty smart lady - check out the child support calculators. The # of nights the child stays in your home (if more than 123), has a direct impact on the child support amount. Once you cross the 123 days, child support is figured on joint, not sole custody, and the amount changes. Perhaps that’s why the mother is so hesitant. Unfortunate, but true very often.


#4

Dear LegallyLost:

Greetings. Sometimes when you ask someone for additional visitation, it feels to them as if you are taking the child out of their care and control. Even if that is/is not your objective - it must be dealt with honestly and openly. Your attorney may have some ideas on how to deal with this. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

ROSENDIVORCE.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#5

If a consent order has been signed by both parties and the judge and the divorce complaint has been filed, can the consent order be modified. The consent order states visitation is friday through sunday and any other visitation agreed to by both parties in order to foster a happy relationship with the child. The child has asked to stay with us (her father and I) more often (actually every other week). We didn’t think her mother would agree to that so we asked her if we could keep the child from Wednesday to Sunday instead of Friday to Sunday and every other week when we ask it’s a struggle. Since the papers have been signed she uses the additional visitation as a threat and will never give us a straight answer. She had an attorney draw up the papers and we were willing to let it go uncontested until this came up.
Any help you could give us would be wonderful.