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How do I bring a motion to change a court order for child custody, access, or parenting?

How do I bring a motion to change a court order for child custody, access, or parenting?
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Reviewed: 
September 1, 2020
Answer

You or your partner may want or need to change your court order because of changes to your situation. For example:

If you and your partner agree to change your parenting plan or separation agreement, you can make a new agreement that deals with the changes to your situation.

If you agree to change a court order, you can go to court and get a new order on consent.

If you and your partner cannot agree, you may have to go to court to bring a motion to change. A motion to change is the name of the court process used to ask a judge to make changes to support in your separation agreement or court order.

You must show a material change in circumstances. This means you have to show that your situation has changed so much that your agreement or 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 services" or "limited scope retainer" 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.

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