Do not file custody and support motions at the same time

Posted May 7th, 2016.

Categories: Custody Tips, Family Law.

motions mark guralnick

Do not file a child custody petition and a child support petition at the same time. If you live in a state where custody and support motions can be combined in one document, then resist the urge to ask for them simultaneously. Even if you need to apply for a custody order and a child support order right away, it is often best not to make these requests at the same time.

Too often, these petitions can be undermined by simultaneous filings. For example, if a non-custodial parent files a motion to reduce child support and, at the same time, files a motion to change custody, his custody motion is likely to be viewed as a disingenuous strategy to lessen his child support obligation or perhaps strengthen his negotiating leverage.

A custodial parent who wants more child support should file the appropriate motion to increase support — by itself. She should not file a simultaneous motion to modify custody or visitation rights. Save that issue for another day. Filing the two motions together clouds the actual motives of the parent making the motions and weakens the likelihood of winning either of them.

If it’s necessary, in your case, to seek relief both in terms of custody and support, then proceed first with the custody motion and file the support motion at a later time.

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