Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Boise Divorce Attorneys - Idaho Family Law Lawyers (208) 472-2383 Changes During a Pending Case

I have often spoken about modification in my divorce and family law blogs.  Many of you may remember that in order to modify an existing order you must show a substantial and material change of circumstance that did not exist at the time of agreement.

When speaking of modification this way, it seems that post divorce or custody is the only time changes occur.  That, however, is slightly misleading.  As a Boise Divorce Attorney, I often see the need to modify an agreement within an existing active case.

For example, Magistrate Judges in Ada County order issues of custody to be mediated.  The idea behind this is that the parties, themselves, can work out what will work best for them, rather than having a judge tell them what to do.  They are ordered to choose from a set of court appointed mediators within a certain time period and are asked to attend mediation to work out an agreement.  If they agree they then sign the agreement and that is incorporated into the divorce and custody order.

Changes that Occur Prior to Final Divorce Order
As a Boise Divorce Attorney I have seen situations where the parties agree and then before a final order in entered there is a change in circumstances that possibly makes the agreement less than ideal when taking into account the best interest of the child.  For example, if one party begins using drugs or is charge with aggravated assault, you would not want to keep a parenting agreement that allowed the child to be alone with that parent. 

Whether the parent is committing a crime, engaged in ongoing criminal activity or is acting in a way that shows a disregard for parental responsibility, can you change your parenting agreement without filing for a modification?  As a family law lawyer I would suggest that the court be notified of the change and motion the court disregard the signed mediation agreement based upon the material change in circumstance.  It can easily be argued that the set of facts which the mediation is based on have change to a new set of facts considering the criminal or unfit behavior of one parent.  Simply because an agreement is in place does not mean that it should stand if one parent is acting in a way that is not suitable to the best interest of a child.

If you need to speak to a Boise Divorce Attorney or an Idaho Family Law Lawyer, please give us a call and see what we can do for you, (208) 472-2383.

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