After a divorce is finalized, either party has the right to seek modifications to the decree. However, the party seeking modification must be able to demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances that warrants the modification.
Factors of Modification
Since divorce is either amicably agreed upon by both parties or decided upon by a judge, it can be difficult to prove that a modification to the final order is warranted. However, this does not mean a modification is not possible. This only means that the reasoning behind the modification must be sound. For example, the seeking party might not receive a modification to a child custody agreement because they would like more time on the weekends to go out with their friends. But they could receive a change to their child custody agreement if their work schedule no longer allows them to see their child on their designated days.
Other common factors include:
- A significant increase or decrease in income
- The party receiving alimony remarries
- The child is older, and their needs have changed
- The party paying alimony or child support is injured and can no longer support themselves the way they previously had
- Either party lost their job and is having trouble supporting themselves or their child
- Either party relocates and an existing child custody agreement is affected
Steps to Take to Modify a Divorce Decree
To modify a divorce decree, the seeking party should consult with a skilled modification attorney who can effectively guide them through the process. An attorney will help the party seeking modification draft and file a supplemental petition to modify the final judgment. That party must also notify the other party of this modification action and include their reasoning for modification.
If a judge decides to hear the case, it is the responsibility of the party seeking the modification to provide evidence in support of their requested modification. An attorney can help effectively present this evidence and persuasively present seeking party’s reasons for modification to a judge. If the court determines to grant the modification, the court will enter a new final judgment, which contains the requested modification.
Providing Sound Legal Guidance
It can be extremely difficult to modify an existing court order. With an attorney from K. Dean Kantaras, P.A. at your side, your chances of a successful modification increase. Our lawyers can help you determine whether your current situation warrants a modification or not and aggressively pursue your best interests.
Fill out our online contact form or call us at (727) 939-6113 to schedule your consultation.