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How do I bring a motion to change a court order for child custody, access, or parenting?
Clear language definitions to common legal terms.
You or your partner may want or need to change your court order because of changes to your situation. For example:
- Your child's living arrangements have changed.
- Your child has new medical needs.
- Your child has new education needs.
- Either you or your partner would like to move.
- Your partner is not allowing you to see your child.
If you agree to change a court order, you can go to court and get a new order based on your agreement.
If you and your partner cannot agree, you may have to go to court to bring a motion to change. You must show a material change in circumstances. This means you have to show that your situation has changed so much that your order needs to be changed to deal with those changes.
There are Family Law Rules that tell you what is needed at every step in a court case. Rule 15: Motions to change a final order or agreement tells you what you need to do.
You can talk to a lawyer who can tell you if facts exist that may convince a judge that your separation agreement or court order should be changed.
If you can't afford to hire a lawyer for your whole case, some lawyers provide "unbundled" or "limited scope" services. This means you pay them to help you with part of your case.
If you can't afford to hire a lawyer at all, you may be able to find legal help in other places.