Some Court orders can be easily modified. Other types of Court orders may be difficult to modify, or may not be modifiable at all. As a general rule, legal decision making, parenting time, child support, and spousal support are generally modifiable so long as one can establish a substantial and continuing change in circumstances. Parenting time and legal decision making modifications must also be in the child’s best interests. If the parties agree to the modifications, the process can be straight forward an inexpensive (i.e. by stipulation). However, if the parties do not agree to the modification, Court proceedings will be necessary.
In New Mexico, there is a finality of a decision whereby courts generally cannot change the results of a court order or judgment as it pertains to property/debt distribution more than 30 days after the entry of the order. Parenting time orders are generally modifiable so long as you can establish that such modification is in the children’s best interests, and so long as there is a substantial and continuing change of circumstances relevant to such best interests. This may simply be that the children are getting older, wanting to spend more time with a parent, changes in school districts, changes in distance between the parents, and other factors. The best interests of the children may change over time. Other changed circumstances may be more serious, such as substance abuse or domestic violence by a parent.