The results of your
divorce are not permanent. Life constantly changes and evolves and, if these shifts
are substantial enough, you may be able to successfully modify the terms
of your divorce decree. Generally, you cannot modify property or asset
division unless you can prove fraud. However, you can modify child custody,
child support, and spousal support if you can prove a substantial change
Requesting a Post-Divorce Modification
If you believe the terms of your decree are no longer appropriate for your
current situation, whether it be your custody arrangement or your spousal
support payments, you can request a post-divorce modification. For child-related
issues, you must prove not only a substantial change in circumstances,
but you must also prove that a modification will serve the best interests
of the children.
Here is what you need to know about achieving a post-divorce modification:
Child custody: Family courts believe in stability and consistency in the life of a child,
so they are often reluctant to grant post-divorce modifications unless
the petitioning parent can prove that the change is in their best interests.
For example, if your co-parent’s job hours recently changed, making
the current arrangement impractical, a judge may grant a modification
to accommodate this.
Child support: If the paying parent was laid off, demoted, or now has more financial
obligations after starting a new family, a judge may reduce the child
support order. If the child has greater needs or expenses, the child support
order may also increase.
Spousal support: Much like child support, if the paying party experiences certain financial
difficulties, such as the loss of a job or a severe disability, the spousal
support order may be reduced. If your former spouse remarries, the order
will automatically terminate. If your former spouse moves in with a new
partner, the order will not automatically terminate, though it is likely
a judge will terminate or substantially reduce it when you request a modification
from the court.
If you and your former spouse can agree on a post-divorce modification,
this can save you some time in court, but you must still go through the
appropriate legal channels to ensure the changes are enforceable. Whatever
you do, you must not stop making payments or make reduced payments without
the approval of the court. Otherwise, you might still be on the hook for
these missed payments.
Speak to a Knowledgeable Family Law Attorney Today!
If you need a post-divorce
modification, the team at the Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny will provide the exceptional
legal guidance you need to ensure you obtain the results you need. Our
team has more than three decades of combined legal experience, which we
will use to your advantage. We understand the difficulties these legal
matters present and will do what is necessary to help you move forward.
Get started on your post-divorce modification case today and
reach out to our law office at (713) 936-2300 to schedule a consultation with a
knowledgeable member of our family law team.