Our lives continually evolve, even in the face of court orders. Some people find that a divorce decree can no longer function practically as their circumstances change, for example, a move out of state, changing jobs, or a new relationship. Texas law allows for post-decree modifications that let you and an ex-spouse accommodate any substantial life changes without undue stress or fuss. However, this relies on following the proper procedure and guidance from an experienced family law attorney. If you are looking to make post-divorce modifications in the Austin, Texas area, contact family law attorney Abraham Kant today to schedule your free consultation.
A divorce decree is a legally binding document – and as such, you should abide by its terms very carefully. On the other hand, there are certain instances when you may be able to request a modification of the terms of your agreement or court order. While the courts generally will not allow changes to property division or property allocation, they may hear arguments regarding child visitation, custody, child support, and even potentially spousal support. Examples that might necessitate a post-divorce modification include:
If your former spouse agrees to the changes of the terms of the original divorce decree, you must document the agreement in writing and submit it to the court that granted your divorce. You’ll likely have to attend the hearing to ensure that both spouses agree to and sign off on the modified terms outlined in the agreement. If the court agrees to allow the modification, it will sign off on it, and the updated terms of your divorce decree will become legally binding.
If you’re considering a post-divorce modification, we recommend taking the following steps:
It’s not always the best idea to talk to your ex-spouse, especially if your divorce proceeding did not end amicably. However, your conversations about a divorce modification – especially as it pertains to your minor children – should always start with your ex. The Courts will almost certainly respect your attempts to resolve disputes without the necessity of court intervention.
Next, retain the services of a family law attorney who has extensive experience in post-divorce modifications. Abraham Kant has been a trusted, objective legal advisor for families working through life issues before, during, and after divorce. He can provide you with guidance and advice throughout this proceeding.
With the help of your family law attorney, you’ll file your divorce decree modification and wait for the hearing. Assuming the courts agree, the modification’s new terms will become legally binding.
When seeking a post-divorce modification decree, it’s important to remember that when one party is considering a substantial life change, you should seek the modification to the decree first. It is far more difficult to deal with a judge who refuses to agree to the modification after your change has already occurred. For example, if you seek to change the terms of your custody agreement after you move across state lines and the judge does not want to change the terms of your decree, the legal process could prove both costly and emotionally detrimental.
Unfortunately, there are instances in which you may want to propose a divorce modification and your ex-spouse will not agree. A common instance might entail whether your spouse gets a substantially higher paying job and you want to recalculate child support. However, if you submit a modification for child support, your spouse may have to submit proof of a substantial change in income, including check stubs and bank account statements. Based on the evidence the court receives, it will make the decision regarding child support, and that decision will be final until another substantial life change says otherwise.
In some instances, mediation can be a good option before jumping straight to litigation. Our law office will be happy to assist you with mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. A post-divorce modification can be a simple legal process, but only with the right approach. Hiring a family law attorney is the first step in streamlining your proceeding. If you’re facing a substantial life change and are hoping to amend the terms of your divorce decree, contact Abraham Kant and schedule a free review of your legal options. He has years of experience serving as an objective legal advisor and will fight to protect your legal rights should litigation become necessary.