When Can a Divorce Decree be Modified?
When a court rules on a divorce proceeding, that decision is final. However, the state is aware that situations can arise where divorce decrees may need to be modified or changed based on the your circumstances. It is possible to make modifications to your decree that deal with parental rights, child support, and alimony arrangements. These modifications have to be approved in court and only occur under certain circumstances. The process of obtaining modifications to your divorce decree can be difficult and stressful, at Flinlaw our Family Law Attorneys will protect your rights and help you understand your options for modifying your decree.
Typically modifications are only allowed to a final order if there has been a “significant or substantial change of circumstances” since the decree was given. There are no real guidelines that establish what a change of circumstances is and ultimately the decision depends on the court. Some examples of possible changes in circumstance include: relocation to another state, growth of children leading to increase in expenses, severe change in custodial parent’s lifestyle, drastic changes in income, remarriage or problems relating to the care of the children.
Modifications to your decree can be filed any time after the final order is given, however it is in your best interest to wait awhile before doing so. It is rare for a modification to be granted that is filed within a year after the divorce. The courts will be suspicious that you are trying to redo the divorce or that not enough time has passed for a significant change to occur. Your behavior and obedience to the initial decree may also have an effect on the likelihood of your modification request to be granted. Missed child support payments or unwillingness to resolve disputes can hurt your chances of modification.
It is best to seek the advice of an experienced attorney for all matters relating to divorce modifications. The law can be tricky and difficult to understand with modifications. Schedule a free consult with one of our Family Attorneys to understand what options are available to you. Our attorneys are very experienced in decree modifications and will be happy to assist you. Call (720) 204-4199 or contact us online to request your free consultation.