No matter how long or convoluted your divorce has been, the entire process ultimately leads to the final divorce decree. As the last dep of the divorce process, the decree is what essentially finalizes all of the terms and conditions that have been negotiated throughout the divorce.
Your decree is court-enforced and must be adhered to by you and your ex-spouse. From property division to child custody and support, this document lays out the future for you and your ex-spouse.
However, what if circumstances change? Is your divorce decree set in stone or are some aspects flexible? Here is the most important information you need to know about changing a divorce decree and how to do it!
Are All Aspects of the Divorce Decree Final?
While areas like child custody, child support can be modified within reason, in Texas, spousal support and property division mandates are concrete.
However, regarding property division, within the first 30 days of a divorce, if there is a dispute about property division, the ex-spouses petition the court to set aside the decree and make changes. After the grace period has passed, the case is considered final with the exception of fraud or in some rare instances when there is further agreement with the parties.
Modifying Child Custody and Child Support
Since one of the biggest points of a divorce decree is to ensure the best outcome for all parties involved, especially children. However, as with life, physical and financial circumstances may change. and that’s why anything regarding the custody or child support of children can be modified upon good reason or through the agreement of the parties.
If a motion to modify child support or custody modification is being discussed, meet with your lawyer to understand protections that are in place for preventing yourself from being sued over and over by your ex. These protections generally make a couple wait a year before trying to modify the custody or child support after an initial agreement.
These protections are mainly in place to ensure that your children aren’t bouncing back and forth from situation to situation. While the general rule of thumb for this type of modification is a year, there is an exception for emergency situations like child abuse or future.
Do All Modifications Go Through the Courts?
A modification can be either by agreement which is relatively simple and common or done as a contested matter where it is decided before the court.
However, there is generally a presumption at court that the divorce decree was in the best interests of the children involved in the divorce. Therefore, the party trying to modify it will have a burden of proof to show the changes necessary.
Settle Your Modifications the Right Way With Marx, Altman & Johnson
At Marx, Altman & Johnson, we understand that divorce decree modifications can be stressful on even the most amicably divorced couple. Our team of divorce lawyers is here to help you understand the provisions of modifying your divorce decree. If you need to clear up some complications in your decree, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.