When Modifications are filed the parties are looking to change something about the prior order because either circumstances changed or something just did not work for everyone involved. In either case, an understanding of what the parties need or want and why the prior order is not practical is neccesary in order to resolve the issues.
Modifications occur when something needs to change about a prior order for various reasons.
- Perhaps the prior visitation schedule did not work.
- Perhaps the prior decision making is not working.
- Perhaps child support should be adjusted.
- Perhaps there were injunctions in the prior order that are no longer applicable.
- Perhaps one party wants to move outside of the geographic restriction.
There are many different facets that can be modified until the child attains the age of 18 or graduates from high school that may need to be adjusted.
What Makes a Mediation Successful?
To have a successful mediation, the mediator will learn from both sides about why the prior order does not work for their current situation. An understanding of the changed circumstances helps the mediator in figuring out what will benefit the parties going forward. Again using that information allows the mediator to suggest some creative solutions to the issues and allow the parties to craft a solution that will work for them.
Sometimes modifications will be in conjunction with enforcements when someone did not follow through with what the Order stated and now is asking the Court to enforce that Order. Though it is rare to mediate an enforcement case, these are typically done when a modification has been filed as well. Typically the enforcement will be filed first and after the party is served with the enforcement action they will file a counter-petition to modify the prior order. When this occurs it creates two trials because there is a trial for the enforcement and a trial for the modification. Often times the parties will agree to mediate both issues to save the time and expense of two trials.