Divorce can be a lengthy process. By the time you get your final decree, you’ll probably attend multiple hearings and conferences to work out issues like property division, spousal support and child support. Sometimes circumstances change, however, which affects the terms of your divorce decree. For example, sometimes people need to move away for a job, or they lose employment and can no longer pay the same amount of support. When this occurs, you’ll need to make a post-divorce decree modification in Lubbock, TX.
When can I modify my divorce decree?
Divorce decrees are usually considered final, unless a major change of circumstances occurs for either or both parties. If it affects someone’s ability to pay support or take care of their child, one or both parents can seek modification. For example, income changes, major medical events and location changes are all grounds for modifying your divorce decree. That includes positive income changes as well as pay cuts, disability, sudden unemployment and other negative circumstances.
Generally, you can file to modify your divorce decree up to a year after the divorce is final. Working with an attorney will ensure that you comply with all the rules and file your paperwork appropriately. If the modification is granted, it will act like an updated version of the original decree. The goal is to ensure that the decrees and judgment accurately reflect everyone’s current circumstances.
The most common modifications
Here are some of the most common modifications to divorce decrees:
- Child support: Child support is paid to the parent who houses the child the majority of the time. They’re also known as “managing conservators.” When you’re granted child support, the judge will determine the amount based on your income—so if that income changes suddenly, you’ll need to get a modification. Failing to pay child support comes with series consequences, and is one of the kinds of debt that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. It is critical that you seek a modification when you cannot pay. If you’ve already modified the decree, you must wait three years before you can seek another one.
- Alimony: Spousal support, or alimony, is granted when spouses have been married for more than 10 years, or if there was a history of domestic violence when the divorce was initiated. You may also be able to get spousal support if you’re caring for a child with special needs, or if you have a disability. These may require a modification if your income changes suddenly.
- Child custody: Finally, changes to your custody agreement need to go through the courts. Oftentimes parents are granted some form of shared physical (possessory) custody and legal custody, which gives them the right to make legal, medical, educational and other decisions on behalf of their child. Should one parent need to move away or otherwise want to change the custody arrangements, you’ll need to go through the courts.
If you need help making post-divorce decree modifications in Lubbock, TX due to a change in your situation, The Law Office of Rob Biggers can help. Call today for a consultation.
**This Blog/Website is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog/website you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the Blog/Website publisher. The Blog/Website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.**
Categorised in: Divorce