September 6, 2013. Things change. Parties resolving a divorce and/or child custody case try to anticipate what the next up to 18 years may bring. However, it is nearly impossible to anticipate what twists and turns will crop up along the way. Courts will hear petitions to modify a previous judgment as it relates to child custody, visitation, child support, and alimony when circumstances substantially change. Before a judge can modify an order, the party requesting the modification must show the following:

  • A substantial and material change in the circumstances occurring after the entry of the decree;
  • Continued enforcement of the original decree, as a result of the changed conditions, would result in a positive wrong or injustice;
  • The change in circumstances is permanent or continuous;
  • The change in financial conditions must be substantial (in support cases); and
  • The change in circumstances must not have been within the contemplation of the trial court when the original decree was entered.

If you have a situation where a substantial change has occurred since your divorce or child custody case, contact your attorney to see what your options are to modify an original decree. Learn more about what family law services the Goosmann Law Firm provides. To see what options you may have, call the Goosmann Law Firm office at 712.226.4000 or email

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