What if Your Custody Schedule is Not Working?

child custody schedule not working and a parent has to leave, Fairfax child custody attorney can help with modifications.

Shared custody schedules are based on your situation at the time the order is issued. As we all know, life can get hectic, schedules can change, and responsibilities can increase. If you have realized that your current custody schedule is simply not working for you and your child, you should discuss your options with the best child custody lawyer from Curran Moher Weis with years of experience serving Fairfax, nearby, and surrounding areas.


Is the Change Temporary?

If the change is temporary and you believe your circumstances will return to normal, you and the other parent might agree to make a temporary change. You want to put this in writing and speak with a lawyer about other requirements to protect yourself. If there is no evidence of your agreement, you can face accusations of failing to comply with the child custody order down the road.


If the change in circumstances is permanent, there are ways to modify your custody order. This requires court approval and the issuance of a modified order. This does not necessarily mean you will have to battle it out in court, however.


Seeking the Modification

Be open with the other parent about what is not working for you or your child. They might agree that change is needed for your child’s well-being. If you and the other parent agree to the long-term modification, your lawyer can draft your proposed modified arrangement. They can properly petition the court to incorporate the new schedule into your custody order. If the court finds the modification is warranted and in the best interests of the child, the judge can approve it and issue the modified order.


If you cannot agree and the other parent opposes the modification, you might have to go to court. First, we try to negotiate or mediate the matter to reach an out-of-court agreement when possible. However, if they still refuse to accept the changed schedule, we can petition the court for a modification. You will each present your case, and the judge will determine whether the circumstances warrant modification and whether it is in the best interests of the child.


Opposing a Modification

If your child’s other parent is the one who cannot adhere to the schedule and would like a change, discuss your options with a lawyer right away. A lawyer can help you find a middle ground when possible to agree to reasonable changes that work for everyone.


However, if the other parent is being unreasonable and requesting modifications that you strongly oppose, your lawyer can represent you in court to oppose the modification. You will need to show either that the changes are not substantial or permanent, or that the modification is otherwise not in your child’s best interests, and you want the right legal help.

Learn More From a Fairfax Child Custody Attorney Near You

At Curran Moher Weis, our best Fairfax child custody attorney represents parents in all types of custody matters in Northern, VA, and nearby. If you believe you need to change your custody order, never wait to contact us to learn how our custody lawyers can help.

What Justifies a Child Support Modification or Termination?

child support agreement form, a Family Law attorney from Curran Moher Weis can help.

Child support is based on a wide range of factors that apply at the time it is calculated – according to the State of Virginia’s child support guidelines. The fact is, however, that the circumstances that guided your original child support order can evolve over time, and a modification – or adjustment – may be in order. If you have questions or concerns about how child support stands in your case, don’t wait to reach out to an experienced Fairfax child support attorney near you.

Income Shares Model

Virginia uses what is called an income shares model in the calculation of child support that takes both parents’ incomes into consideration. This method is intended to balance each parent’s financial ability to support the children while helping to ensure that the children are as well supported financially as they would have been if the parents had remained together. The court recognizes that circumstances change and, as a result, allows child support modifications when certain factors change significantly.

The Initiation of a Child Support Modification

Child support modifications are initiated in one of the following three ways:


  1. Either parent (the parent who pays child support or the parent who receives child support) petitions the court for a modification
  2. The court itself motions for a modification
  3. A probation officer of the Department of Social Services petitions the court for a modification


The Primary Reasons for Child Support Modifications

The court does not modify child support orders lightly, but if one of the following factors applies, a child support modification may be taken into consideration:


  1. It has been at least 36 months since your original child support order (or since your last review for modification).
  2. Either parent’s income either increased or decreased by at least 25 percent
  3. The primary custodial parent’s work-related childcare costs either increased or decreased by at least 25 percent.
  4. Healthcare coverage costs for the children either increased or decreased by at least 25 percent – or the order needs to take healthcare coverage expenses into consideration.
  5. The current child support order failed to take the reimbursed medical/dental provision into consideration.
  6. A child needs to be added to the order (because of a change in physical custody or of birth) or is no longer eligible for support (because of a change in physical custody or emancipation).


With the passage of time, your financial situation and your children’s needs can change, and such change can instigate the need for a child support modification.

Turn to an Experienced Fairfax Child Support Attorney Near You

If you believe you need a child support modification – or your children’s other parent is seeking one – the dedicated child support attorneys at Curran Moher Weis in Fairfax, Virginia, and nearby are standing by to help. We have the experience, legal insight, and drive to help ensure that you and your children’s rights are well protected throughout the modification process. Your modification needs are important, so please don’t wait to reach out and contact or call us at 571-931-2941 for more information today.

What requirements should I know for a Virginia divorce?

divorce certificate after presenting the requirements with help of a divorce attorney

Whether you are considering a divorce, are preparing to file for divorce, or are facing divorce papers, it’s important to know the basic requirements for a Virginia divorce. Because the divorce process is complicated and because your parental and financial rights hang in the balance, working closely with an experienced Fairfax family law attorney is the surest path forward.

Filing for Divorce in Virginia

Virginia divorces are filed in circuit courts, and in order to file, either you or your spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least six months. The separation requirement depends upon whether or not you and your divorcing spouse share children, and it breaks down as follows:


  • If you and your divorcing spouse do not have minor children, you cannot file until after you’ve been separated for at least six months and have completed a written property settlement agreement.
  • If you and your divorcing spouse do not have minor children, you cannot file until after you’ve been separated for at least one year.



The spouse who files for divorce must have the other served with the divorce papers, and there are three basic methods for doing so, including:


  • If your spouse lives in Virginia, he or she can be served through the Office of the Sheriff.
  • If your spouse does not live in Virginia, you’ll need to make arrangements to have him or her served.
  • If your spouse agrees to accept service of your divorce papers, you can mail the divorce documents to him or her directly – or he or she can accept service through the Circuit Court Civil Intake Division.


The Separation Requirement

The Separation requirement in Virginia is generally achieved when one spouse moves out of the marital home, but the state also recognizes couples who live separate and apart while remaining in the same home. The guidelines for accomplishing this level of separation, however, are specific.


There is also a requirement of intent, which means that at least one of you must have decided that your marriage is over and must have voiced this intention to the other. In order to establish that you have reached your separation time requirement, it’s advisable to establish one’s intention of divorcing – as of a specific date – in writing.

Fault-Based vs. No-Fault Divorce

Virginia offers both fault-based and no-fault divorces. The grounds for fault-based divorces in the state include:


  • Adultery
  • Confinement that lasts longer than one year
  • Felony conviction
  • Desertion
  • Cruelty


Virginia is one of the only states in the nation that requires third-party corroboration for fault-based divorces (and only recently dropped the requirement for no-fault divorces). The matter of fault must be proven in fault-based divorces, but when granted, it can affect how the divorce terms are resolved.


No-fault divorces are a more straightforward process in which neither spouse blames the other for the dissolution of the marriage.

Contact an Experienced Fairfax Family Law Attorney Near You

The best divorce attorneys at Curran Moher Weis in Fairfax, Virginia, focus their practice on skillfully protecting the parental and financial rights of clients like you – throughout the divorce process. Your case is important, so please don’t wait to contact or call us at (571) 328-5020 for more information today.

What To Know When Modifying Spousal Support

divorce attorney helping clients with a spousal support modification

Spousal support – or alimony – is less common in Virginia divorces than it once was, but it can play an important role for spouses who are left without the financial ability to support themselves upon divorce. The State of Virginia recognizes that life’s circumstances sometimes change and that modifications of divorce terms, including spousal support, are sometimes necessary.

If you’re in a situation in which you believe a spousal support modification is in order – or if your ex-spouse is seeking a modification – it’s time to consult with an experienced Fairfax divorce attorney.


In the State of Virginia, there are specific guidelines for when a party can request a spousal support modification. If there is sufficient reason for doing so, either spouse can request that the amount of spousal support is increased or decreased, that the duration be extended or abbreviated, or that the support is ended altogether – unless the original order specifically states that it is not modifiable.

The Basis for Modifications

Virginia courts can terminate spousal support for any of the following primary reasons:


  1. The recipient remarries – in which case, he or she is required by law to inform the payor
  2. Either party dies (unless stipulated otherwise)
  3. The recipient cohabitates with someone else in a relationship that is analogous to marriage for a year or more (unless stipulated otherwise or deemed unconscionable, which is rare)


Reasons the court may increase or decrease the amount of spousal support – or alter its duration – include:


  1. Either party – or both parties – experienced a change in circumstances that was not anticipated at the time the support was determined.
  2. An event that the court expected to happen, which would have changed one or both parties’ circumstances, failed to occur.


When the Matter of Modification Is Addressed in the Terms

When the original divorce terms themselves stipulate that spousal support modifications can’t be made, the court lacks the jurisdiction to modify the matter. If the divorce decree, however, does not address the matter of spousal support modifications (or stipulates when modifications can be addressed), the court has the authority to make modifications in accordance with whatever parameters are set forth (if any).

The Court’s Stance

When the court addresses the matter of spousal support modifications, it generally explores each party’s overall financial situation – in terms of their current incomes and their reasonable monthly expenses. Spousal support is intended to strike a balance between each spouse’s income in relation to his or her reasonable expenses, and if either ex’s financial circumstances – or both exes’ financial circumstances – have changed significantly, the court may determine that a spousal support modification is in order.

An Experienced Fairfax Divorce Lawyer Can Help

If you need a spousal support modification – or your ex is seeking one – the best divorce attorneys from Curran Moher Weis in Fairfax, Virginia, have an abundance of experience successfully guiding challenging cases like yours toward favorable resolutions that support our client’s best interests. We’re here for you, so please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at (571) 328-5020 for more information today.