Between the time you got divorced and the time you read this, your life circumstances may have changed. Or, maybe your ex-spouse’s life circumstances have changed. Either way, your original divorce decree may no longer make sense. In cases like these, you may be able to modify your divorce agreement to adjust it to your current situation.
Your divorce decree
Your divorce decree is the final court order you and spouse received when you legally ended your marriage. It outlines the legal conditions for:
- Alimony payments
- Child custody
- Child visitation
- Child support
- Division of property
To actually overturn a divorce decree, you must appeal to a higher court. However, a post-divorce modification only seeks to adjust the details of the original agreement. If you or ex-spouse experience a significant change in circumstances, you may file a petition in family court to modify the divorce decree.
The modification can request changes like an increase or decrease in alimony, revised custody or visitation agreements, or adjustments to child support. Property or asset division typically can’t be changed from the original divorce decree.
When you need a post-divorce modification
If you want to modify your divorce degree, you will need to show evidence of a material and substantial change of circumstances that happened after the divorce agreement was written. Common examples of why a person might want to modify a divorce agreement include:
- Alimony. It is possible to change the amount of spousal support if either party’s income changes significantly, the spouse receiving alimony moves in with someone else, the cost of living increases or decreases, or the spouse paying alimony is under new support obligations.
- Child support. Support payments may be modified when there’s a change in the child’s expenses, if there’s a 15% change in the income of either parent, or if one parent becomes disabled.
- Visitation schedules. If the schedules of the parent or child change over time to the point that it’s impossible to stick to the original schedule, visitation may be modified. A parent may also file to modify visitation time if the other parent is willfully denying them their court-ordered time.
- Child custody. If there is a substantial and material change in circumstances in the child’s life that warrants a change in custody, the parent with primary physical custody may be changed. This may also occur in cases of serious abuse and neglect or when a parent repeatedly violates court orders.
- Relocation. If one parent wants to move more than 50 miles away from the other parent without consent, they must have the court grant or deny their request.
- Name changes. If one ex-spouse decides, after the divorce, to change their name, they can modify their divorce decree to reflect it.
- Clerical errors. If a clerical error was made in the original divorce agreement, the court can correct the mistake in a modification.
The Nashville divorce lawyers at Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC are well-versed in all aspects of the divorce process. We invite you to talk to us about your situation today. We can help you plan and strategize to ensure your best interests are protected. Look to us for honest and reliable representation. Please call 615.454.9899 or use our contact form to schedule a consultation.