Modifications of Family Law Orders

Life often changes unexpectedly sometimes.  This is especially true after a divorce. You or your spouse may obtain a new job or get layed off. As circumstances change substantially, you have the right to petition the court for a modification of family law orders. For a variety of reasons, a person might ask to modify an order previously entered by a family law judge. Those modification actions can ask for a modification of any of the following types of orders:

Additionally, the trial court may relieve a party from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for mistake, inadvertence, surprise, excusable neglect, or irregularity in obtaining the judgment or order.

Modifications Family Law Attorney in Seattle, WA

Petitioning the court for modification of an order can be a complicated process. If you require asistance getting your court-ordered alimony, child support or parenting plan modified, reach out to our Seattle family law attorneys at Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson. We can help you understand Washington law related to actions to modify a prior order for child support, a parenting plan, maintenance or alimony. 

We represent clients in family court in Seattle and Kent in King County, as well as throughout Snohomish County and Tacoma in Pierce County. Modifications can be a complex process, but you don’t need to go through this stressful time on your own. Call (206) 712-2756 to schedule a free, intitial and confidential consultation. We are standing by to receive your call.


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Modifications of a Property Disposition in a Divorce Action

For the vast majority of cases, once the divorce decree is entered and the property is divided in that order, that decision is final. However, in some extremely limited circumstances, a property disposition in a dissolution decree can only be revoked or modified under RCW 26.09.170(1) if the court finds the existence of conditions that justify the reopening of a judgment under Washington law. Under RCW 26.09.170(1), one way of modifying the property disposition in a dissolution decree is a motion for relief under CR 60(b). Under that provision, a trial court may relieve a party from a final judgment for one of eleven (11) different reasons stated in the statute.

A catch-all provision under CR 60(b)(11) states that the court may grant relief from a final judgment for “[a]ny other reason justifying relief from the operation of the judgment.” The catch-all provision was created to address extreme and unexpected situations when no other subsection of CR 60(b) applies. Those extraordinary circumstances must have been extraneous to the proceeding.


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Modifications to Child Family Law Orders in Washington

Common modification orders include child support, child custody, and visitation. It's important to note the court will only grant modifications regarding your children, so long as it is found to be in the best interest of the children. For example, there are several instances when a change to the parenting plan will be best for the child. For instance, an order of protection can be implemented if a risk of domestic violence threatens a minor or parent. 

Generally, courts only order modifications if a family can prove a significant change in circumstances, such as:

  • A parent's work schedule changing
  • A parent's inability to care for the child
  • A shift in the child's needs due to their health or age
  • A long-distance move

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Additional Resources for Modifications of Family Law Orders

Non-Parent Custody Order - Visit the Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts webpage to view temporary non-parent custody order forms. Click the link to download certain forms including Motion for Temporary Non-Parent Custody Order and Restraining Order, Temporary Non-Parent Custody Order, and more.

King County: Family Law Facilitators -  Click the link to read more information about the King County Family Law Facilitators at the Seattle and Kent locations. In King County, Washington, the Family Court handles family law matters that involve children including divorce, legal separation, child custody, child support, and paternity actions.


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Modifications Lawyer in Seattle

If you are pursuing a modification in a family law case, please do not hesitate to contact Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson. Our attorneys at Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson recognize that divorce is a stressful and complex situation for any family. Meeting with an experienced family law attorney is the first step toward understanding the process and ensuring things go as smoothly as possible. We will work tirelessly to help achieve the outcome you desire.

Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson handles a wide arrange of family law matters, including modifications. We accept clients throughout the greater Seattle area and surrounding communities including Issaquah, Kirkland, Burien, Edmonds, Everett, Shoreline, Ballard and Bellevue. Call (206) 712-2756 to receive a free, initial consultation.


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