Divorces are complicated – Period. When a couple jointly takes the decision to separate, many things must be decided, including the custody of children (if any) and asset distribution. For the uninitiated, divorce decree modification refers to the change in divorce decree, often with regards to visitation rules, child custody, alimony, and amount for child support. As evident, a divorce decree modification is a change to the decree issued by the court and is legally binding as a replacement to the previous decree. Here’s what you must know about divorce decree modifications.
Since one can never predict when personal situations change, there is no time limit for the divorce decree to be modified. Things like, needs of the child or salary of the spouse, can change, which may require certain modifications. With that said, it must be noted that there are certain restrictions in some states as when and how a divorce decree is modified. For example, in Minnesota, couples are required to wait for two years after the divorce to make any modifications to the decree with regards to child custody. However, it is possible to make small changes in the arrangement without involving the child.
When can the divorce decree be modified?
- When the decree is unjust. If the divorce seems unjust to one party, the same can be modified. Please note that the window for the same with regards to liability modifications or properties must be made as soon as the decree has been finalized. In Minnesota, for example, the period is 60 days.
- Child Support and Visitation. Most of the modifications related to a divorce decree is associated with child support or visitation rights. The monthly support agreed for child support and other things that may influence the child can be changed as required.
What does it take to modify divorce decree?
It is best to consult a lawyer and discuss all the requirements before moving to the court, and that’s only when things seem possible. For example, when a parent cannot see the child owing to work commitments, an agreement can be signed stating the agreed time and other details. If such an agreement is signed, the court will accept it as an uncontested amendment, which doesn’t require an appearance in the court.
Please note that knowing the required modifications is important before approaching the court. Note that the changes related to divorce decree modifications don’t have to be financial. Anything such as visitation schedules or how the child is being raised are aspects that can be considered for modification.
Once the divorce decree modifications have been decided, the forms must be filled out and all the information related to the original decree must be mentioned. A statement related to the amendment must be filed, after which a court date will be set, provided the papers have been served to the other party.
To know more on divorce decree modifications, check with a known lawyer and don’t shy away from asking questions.