So, you have a Decree of some kind (usually, a Decree of Divorce or a Decree of Parentage), but circumstances have changed and you’d like to explore whether the Decree can be modified to reflect the new situation? For example, maybe the parties have joint physical custody of the children and one of the parties wants to move with the children. Or, maybe the party paying child support has experienced a significant increase or decrease in income that may justify an adjustment in child support. I can help.
By design, it’s not easy to modify a Decree. The law favors stability and generally prefers that parties not tinker with the Decree unless both agree to do so. To that end, if both parties agree that a Decree needs to be modified, then, usually, all that’s required is drafting up an agreement and documents for the Court to review and sign. I can make the drafting process as easy and inexpensive for you as possible.
More often, however, one party wants to modify a Decree and the other doesn’t. If this is your case, then we should talk. Generally, a Decree can only be modified if there’s been a substantial change in material circumstances (and that modifying provisions involving children is in the children’s best interests, if children are involved) or otherwise allowed by statute (for example, adjusting child support 3 years after a support order is entered can be easier than adjusting child support within the first 3 years after a support order is entered).
If we press forward, then we’ll file a petition to modify the Decree and off to the races we go. I’m a problem-solver and I value my ability to reach out to and work with the other side to try and find a resolution. Often, however, with modification issues, a resolution between the parties is difficult to reach. If so, I’m prepared to advocate for you in the courtroom and say all for your case that can be said.
Let’s talk about your modification issue. We can talk about what’s going on with your case and I’ll tell you whether I think there’s been a change in material circumstances that’s substantial enough to seed a modification of the Decree.