When you file for divorce you do so by filing a document referred to as a Petition. The Petition sets forth your requests in the case, and your spouse will be required to file an Answer to the things you are seeking. Somewhere between the Petition and the final Decree of Dissolution dissolving your marriage, you will appear in Court and have the Judge make a final decision as to all the issues in the case. Some cases get to this point faster than others, while some require additional work by way of interviews, depositions, and asset discovery. Regardless of how you get to the end of your case and what the terms are, the end result is the entry of a Divorce Decree that acts as a blueprint for all the issues of the case. Each party is bound by the terms set forth in the Decree, such as who has child custody and how much support is to be paid, and must abide by these terms. However, circumstances do change and from time to time people need to make a change to the terms of their divorce decree.
The law does allow you, in certain circumstance, to seek changes to your Decree after the Judge signs it. To do so you must file a Motion to Modify and set forth good reasons for the requested change. The most common grounds for a modification include:
- A change in employment or salary structure, which will necessitate a change in the amount of support awarded or being paid.
- Getting remarried.
- Moving, which might require Court approval if you intend to remove your children from the State.
The need for a modification is unique to you, and requires presentation of the facts requiring a change to the Court. You can also seek to enforce the terms of your Divorce Decree if the terms are not being followed. Either party can seek a modification or enforcement of the Decree. While the above are common reasons for seeking a modification, not every aspect of your Decree will be subject to change. Child support and spousal maintenance are typically high on the list of things people ask to be modified, and the Court routinely decides issues in these regards. However, there may be aspects that cannot be undone and so you should make sure the terms of your Decree are satisfactory when your divorce is final. Doing so requires the know-how of a qualified family law attorney. Call our office today to speak with one of our trained legal professionals.
For answers to your questions about changes after the divorce decree is filed, consult our office. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call the Sampair Group in Phoenix and the West Valley today to schedule your appointment.