Understanding the Ins and Outs of Post-Decree Divorce Settlements

Going through a divorce can be an emotionally and financially difficult time in anyone’s life. Even after the judge signs the final divorce decree, there may still be some loose ends to tie up or changes in circumstances that require revisiting the settlement. Getting help from experienced divorce attorneys can make navigating the post-decree landscape much smoother. Keep reading to learn more.

What Can Be Modified After the Divorce Decree?

Certain sections of a divorce settlement can be revisited and modified after the decree has been issued. Two of the most common areas include child support and alimony. For example, if your income increases or decreases substantially, your divorce lawyer may be able to get the child support or alimony obligations adjusted accordingly. Custody and visitation issues can often be modified as well, especially if the schedule is no longer practical or in the children’s best interests. Another possible reason to modify a divorce decree is if one spouse fails to disclose certain assets or debts. If significant hidden assets are later discovered, your divorce attorney may be able to file a motion to reopen the property settlement.

How to Change Divorce Settlement Terms

To legally change any aspect of your binding divorce decree, you must file a formal request with the court that issued the decree originally. Divorce attorneys typically handle modification requests for clients. Certain evidentiary requirements must be met to justify changing established child support, alimony, or custody arrangements. Some states make a distinction between minor modifications and more substantive changes. Minor tweaks are usually simpler for a divorce lawyer to obtain approval for, while more major revisions often require showing a substantial change in circumstances.

How to Make the Process Go Smoothly

Modifying a divorce decree successfully takes cooperation, detailed record-keeping, and realistic expectations about what a judge will approve. Maintain receipts and records related to your finances, assets, debts, and expenses. Thorough documentation will help your divorce attorney make the strongest case possible. Keep open lines of communication with your ex whenever possible. Though tensions may still run high, being able to discuss issues civilly can prevent a lengthy court battle. Lastly, research modification time limits in your state. Most states impose strict deadlines for filing certain types of requests after a decree; missing key deadlines can leave you without recourse.

About every 36 seconds, a divorce takes place, according to Legaljobs. If you’re one of these people, the ins and outs of post-divorce legal wrangling can be hard to navigate if you go it alone. Enlisting help from an experienced divorce lawyer takes much of the burden off your shoulders. If you’re ready to find out if you can modify your divorce settlement, reach out to our divorce attorneys at C.E.L. & Associates Inc for a consultation today.