Honolulu And Oahu Modification Attorneys: Enforcing And Modifying Court Orders
At Coates Frey & Hackett, AAL LLLC, we understand that life changes frequently and without warning. Whatever happens, we are dedicated to adapting to situations in ways meant to benefit you and your keiki, or children. Our attorneys are available to residents of Hawaii to assist in modifying child custody, child support or alimony agreements.
Call Coates Frey & Hackett, AAL LLLC, today for help modifying your agreement to reflect your current needs at 808-379-3538.
Making Modifications To Court Orders
Life changes every day, and sometimes, those changes call for changes to be made to the terms of a divorce as well. We can help you through the process of pursuing these modifications.
Skilled Guidance Through Child Custody Modifications
Child custody can be relatively easy to modify in Hawaii. The most effective approach is to discuss the matter directly with the other parent. If the modification is mutually accepted, it can be accomplished with a written agreement that becomes a court order upon approval by the court without a hearing, and if it is in the child’s best interests, the request will typically be granted and legally enforceable.
If only one parent is pushing for a change in custody, the process is more difficult. To begin, they will have to file a request with the court. During this process, the parent proposing a change must:
- Provide proof that the change would be beneficial for the child
- Show that the current circumstances of the parent or child have changed, thus making the arrangement difficult to maintain
- Prove that the benefits of the change are greater than any possible inconveniences the child will encounter while growing accustomed to the new schedule
These cases are taken very seriously, and Hawaiian courts recognize the potential harm that frequent changes in a child’s schedule can have on them as they grow up. For that reason, cases where only one parent is requesting change can be difficult and require ample proof of the benefits available to the child if the modification is accepted.
Helping Hawaiians With Modifying Child Support
Like child custody, child support may be adjusted as necessary after its initial implementation. This typically happens for one of three reasons:
- Change in income of either parent, the one paying or receiving child support
- Change in the expenses of the child and the necessary costs of raising them
- Change in the number of children receiving child support as other children age out of eligibility requirements
Once a reason for change comes up, the parents have two ways to approach the situation. Any changes in child support will take place either:
- Judicially at family court
- Administratively at the Child Support Enforcement Agency
Both options have their appealing features as well as their burdens. For a judicial change, a motion needs to be filed. The case is usually faster overall, though rather difficult for those who are unrepresented by a lawyer. Other issues like custody and visitation may also be discussed, which is difficult to defend and fight for your desired outcome without an attorney present. The administrative approach is slower but limits the topics of discussion to child support and the costs of the medical insurance of the child. It is designed for parents who are unable to obtain a lawyer to represent them in court to be able to get the necessary adjustments passed.
Updating Alimony Agreements
Alimony is not automatically granted in Hawaii. A court will decide if it is necessary based on the specific circumstances of the case. There is no exact formula for determining the monetary amount or length of time alimony may be received.
Once alimony is in place, the couple may agree to draft and sign a written contract to keep the alimony as it was established for an appropriate period of time, possibly even permanently. If no such agreement exists, either spouse, the payer or payee, may request modifications to the alimony arrangement. To be granted any such changes, the spouse must show that there were changes in circumstances that necessitate a change through a submitted affidavit.
If the couple did not make any initial contractual agreement stating otherwise, spousal support terminates automatically when the payee remarries.
If your initial agreements are no longer reflective of your needs or those of your child, contact our office to modify them to better suit your current situation.
Honolulu And Oahu Enforcement Lawyers
Agreements are settled with the intention that both parties will continue to abide by the terms they lay out. Sometimes, parties may fail to comply. Luckily, actions can be taken to overcome the conflict. Our lawyers will help enforce all your legal contracts to ensure you and your child are receiving the care and protection you were originally promised.
Enforcement Of Child Custody
Having a child custody agreement approved by the court strengthens your ability to enforce it. By incorporating the court and having a judge agree to it, it is granted the strength of a court order. With this classification, both parents are legally bound to it and must act in accordance with it. It is easier to prove disobedience of an order and seek productive changes to it.
Without a court backing the document, the options to enforce custody are limited. Police and legal officials can only intervene when the situation poses an immediate threat to the well-being of your child. Consider discussing the matter with the child’s other parent and bring your agreement to court to get a court order.
With a court order, you can still negotiate directly with the other parent or get legal officers involved.
Keep records of infractions in case you must prove your case in a court hearing. Include information on the date and time of the violation and the circumstances that went against your agreement.
Courtroom visits may vary in severity. The judge could either act as a reinforcer of your plan or even approve adjustments, and act to resolve any mistakes such as days taken from you by granting you more time with your child. Alternatively, a judge could be asked to hold the other party in contempt. If the court decides that the parent did intentionally violate the order, they face serious consequences, potentially including jail time.
Enforcement Of Child Support
Hawaii’s Child Support Enforcement Agency is proactive in obtaining outstanding payments for the owed parents. CSEA will take action to enforce compliance automatically, without requiring prompting by the parent with custody.
Enforcement Of Alimony
Ex-spouses who are not receiving their due alimony have three options to enforce the agreement.
An ex-spouse can:
- Go to court and have a judge find the payer in contempt, thereby giving them an order to repay the owed money, possibly with an extra attorney and court costs of the enforcing party.
- Obtain a court-ordered writ of execution where an enforcing officer can seize the money you are owed.
- Obtain a court-ordered income withholding where the payer’s employer is then required to send the portion of the paycheck owed to the ex-spouse directly to them without first giving it to the payer.
During your free initial consultation, our lawyers will recommend the best approach once we become familiar with your case. From there, we will represent you and fight for your owed payments.
If you are not receiving the financial assistance or child visitation you are legally entitled to, contact one of our attorneys to enforce compliance.
Let Us Defend Your Needs
Whether you need someone to modify or defend the terms of a divorce, our team is here for you. We wrote the book on divorce and are eager to help you resolve your issues as promptly as possible. Call us at 808-379-3538 or email us here to schedule your initial consultation today.