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Modification of Divorce Decrees

Modifying Your Divorce Decree

When you get divorced, the judge handling your case issues a document called a divorce decree. This discusses the division of property as well as any child support or alimony payments.

Sometimes, you or your ex-spouse may need to change the terms of your divorce. This is called a modification of divorce decree. However, you can only change the terms of your divorce under certain circumstances.

Guidelines for Modification of Divorce Decree

You must wait at least one year before asking a judge to change the terms of your divorce. The year begins with the date that your divorce decree was issued.

Here are some circumstances under which you could receive a modification of divorce decree:

You are paying alimony to your former spouse, but they are living with a person with whom they share a sexual relationship.

Child support is no longer necessary because your child is now over the age of 18.

You lost your job and cannot afford the same alimony and child support payments.

Your former spouse now has a higher-paying job.

Your ex-spouse was disabled, which justified higher alimony payments. Now they are not disabled.

The situation under which your child custody and visitation arrangements were made has changed. Perhaps your former spouse now has a drug problem, or your child is over the age of 12 and wants to change which parent they live with the most.

Modifying the terms of your divorce can be a complicated process and requires the steady hand of an experienced attorney.