As life moves on after divorce and you experience new life milestones, you may find that your custody agreement no longer works or you’re unable to pay the same amount of spousal support. Whatever your situation may be, you could be eligible for a divorce decree modification.
Who’s Eligible for a Divorce Modification?
According to Texas law, modifications to divorce decrees can only occur if both parties mutually decide to change the terms or if there are substantial changes in circumstances for one of the parties involved. This also includes any changes in circumstances for any children of the relationship.
Understanding Mutual Agreement
After the emotional divorce process, former spouses have time to think and communicate. Sometimes, both decide that a modification is in order for parts of their decree. Together, they can file a petition with the court to change certain terms and conditions. They cannot file individually to request a modification unless substantial changes in circumstances happen.
What Qualifies as a Substantial Change in Circumstances?
Substantial changes in circumstances are often the result of significant life changes such as a one of the parties becoming unemployed or being seriously injured. Changes may also be in order if a party remarries or moves to another state.
Types of Modifications Available
In Texas, once a divorce is final, you’re unable to modify property division decisions. You do, however, have the ability to modify other parts of the divorce decree. Common items that parties seek modifications of include:
- Child support: Situations often occur that require the need to either reduce or increase child support payments. For example, a spouse may request a change if a child requires enhanced medical care due to a new condition.
- Child custody: Custody and visitation changes occur due to relocations, such as when a spouse moves to another state. Other reasons for custody changes include abusive or unsafe living situations.
- Spouse support: If the paying party is unable to meet spousal support obligations on account of unemployment, severe reductions in income, significant injury or another involuntary situation, that party may likely be eligible for a partial or total reduction of spousal support.
Need a Modification? Reach Out to Our Team.
Filing for a divorce decree modification is a process that nearly always requires professional assistance. Whether you and your spouse are ready to file together or you wish to petition the court on your own, we recommend reaching out to an experienced family law attorney. To learn more about divorce decree modifications, send us a message.