After a divorce decree or order allocating parental responsibilities is entered, it may later be modified if specific statutory criteria are met. Different standards govern modification of parenting time versus decision-making responsibility. The court will only review facts that have arisen since the prior decree, or that were unknown at the time of the prior decree – in other words, you do not get to re-litigate your case. The court must find that a change has occurred in the circumstances of the child or the party with whom the child resides the majority of the time or to whom decision-making responsibility was allocated. Examples of a change in circumstances are a parent relocating, a new relationship that adversely impacts the well-being of the child, or a parent developing a substance abuse problem. The other finding that a court must make to justify a modification is that the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child. There are specific statutory factors that the parties must address and the court must consider in determining the child’s best interests. In order to ensure that the statutory criteria are met and your modification is successful, contact Patricia A. Riley, LLC.