Do You or Your Ex Have Grounds to Request a Modification? - Marrison Family Law

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Do You or Your Ex Have Grounds to Request a Modification?

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

best divorce lawyersAfter a couple is officially “divorced” a final divorce decree is issued by the state. This decree is actually made up of a set of legally binding “orders” that define the terms of the divorce, and failure to abide by them could result in one spouse taking enforcement actions against the other. In other words, as one soon learns, many of the terms of the final decree are indeed anything but “final.” It is actually quite common for one party or another to request a formal modification to the certain terms, such as spousal support, child custody, or visitation.

How does a judge decide if a modification is valid?

In any of the post-decree matters that come before a family court judge, he or she will want to see evidence of a change of circumstances that necessitates a revision of existing court orders. Even if your former spouse is against the modification idea, it’s still possible that a family law judge will rule in your favor. However, if the other party agrees with the modification a verbal agreement will not be legally enforceable; it will still require a formal change be made to the court order.

Which forms must be filed for a Colorado Springs divorce modification?

Depending on which part of your divorce agreement you want to modify, there are separate forms that must be filed. For example, there are specific forms for the relocation of a parent or a change in parenting time, as well as special forms for altering spousal and child support. Here is a list of the forms your modification petition might require:

  • Spousal Maintenance Modification Form
  • Parenting Time Modification Form
  • Child Support Modification Form
  • Decision-Making Responsibility Modification Form

Whether you are enforcing an agreement that is already in place, modifying an agreement, or defending against a recent modification, a Colorado Springs family law attorney can help.

Some of the issues that Colorado Springs family lawyers usually handle include:

  • Enforcement and collection of child support amounts
  • Defending against unwarranted collection and/or modifications of child support
  • Recalculating child support amounts based upon a change in circumstances
  • Enforcement and collection of maintenance amounts
  • Defending against unwarranted collection and/or modifications of child support
  • Recalculating maintenance amounts based upon a change in circumstances
  • Modifying decision-making (child custody) or parenting time (visitation) arrangements
  • Move-away situation when a parent wants to relocate with the minor child
  • Defending against unwarranted collection and/or modifications of maintenance
  • Defending against decision-making and parenting time modifications
  • What are the most common modifications after divorce?
  • Financial circumstances change

While all of these modifications are valid, the one that comes up most often after a divorce is the payment of spousal and child support. These requests are more commonly made by the party responsible for paying, typically after a job loss or significant cut in pay that makes it impossible to sustain such an obligation. However, a recipient of support might file a modification request for similar reasons, such as a change in circumstances with their job or when the child’s financial needs for education or healthcare have changed.

Parental relocation with children

Another common issue that comes up in family court is when one of the parents wants to move away to another city or state. This can be very complicated when the parents share custody of a child or if one parent has been awarded visitation rights. In these cases, the parent who is moving will have to obtain a modification to an existing custody order. In addition, the moving parent must provide the other parent with written notice of their intent to relocate, including the reasons for the move, proposed location and a proposed plan for visitation arrangements.

As with any decision the court makes on custody, it will review the planned relocation in light of what would be in the best interests of the child. Be prepared; the other parent may contest the move on the basis of its impact on the child’s best interests. For this reason, parents are advised to seek the help of an experienced Colorado Springs divorce attorney before filing a petition for modification.

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MPatMarrisonFor over a quarter century, we have helped people during what is often the darkest time in their lives. Divorce is not easy even under the best of circumstances. For most people, family is central. Having something go wrong in the family can have a ripple effect that extends beyond the home and into other areas.

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