Post Decree Modification
Absent extraordinary circumstances, allocation of property and debt set forth in a Divorce Decree are not modifiable. Decision-making, Parenting Time and Child Support, and in most cases Spousal Maintenance, are always modifiable. In order to modify, the party seeking the modification must prove a substantial and continuing change in circumstances. For Decision-Making and Parenting Time the changed circumstances may include anything that affects the care and needs of the child. These circumstances may include diminished capacity caused by drug or alcohol abuse or mental health problems. For Parenting Time Modifications, changes in circumstances may include the relocation of one of the parties to a different city or a different state. They may also include changes in work hours, which make a current schedule difficult to manage. Short-term or minor changes generally would not be sufficient to change the Decision-Making or the parenting time. It must be a major change will last some significant period of time.
Child Support Modifications generally involve changes in the parties income. Again, the change must be substantial and continuing. If one party receives a small raise or small bonus, those factors would generally not result in a modification of support. If one party wins the Powerball, that would certainly be a substantial and continuing change in circumstances justifying a modification. Changes in income between these two examples may or may not be sufficient to change the Child Support or Spousal Maintenance amount. In order to determine whether a modification is appropriate, you need an experienced Divorce or Paternity Attorney to it advise you as to whether a change is warranted under the law and if so, present a organized and credible case to the court justifying the change request.
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