You made it through the challenges of divorce to come out on the other side with your divorce terms in tow. While these terms addressed your circumstances at the time, they may no longer apply. The fact is that, while some divorce terms in your Final Decree of Divorce are set for the duration, some can be modified in certain situations, and there are specific terms that are most likely to need modification as time goes on. If you have questions or concerns about a post-divorce modification, an experienced Williamson County divorce attorney can help.
A Note about Modifications
Even if you and your ex are in total agreement about the modification you are implementing, it is in everyone’s best interest to make it official with the court. Without a modification on the books, the original terms remain in play, and if you are called out by your ex for being outside of those court orders, you can be found in contempt of court. The truth is that while your ex may be in agreement today, there is no guarantee that he or she will remain so.
Child Custody Arrangements
The child custody arrangements (called conservatorship in Texas) that you received at the time of your divorce may have suited you, your ex, and your children’s needs and schedules at the time, but times change. In fact, as your children mature, their schedules can change so dramatically that it is difficult to keep up. With extracurricular activities, driver’s licenses of their own, part-time jobs, and college prep, the parenting schedule that you currently have in place may look positively antiquated. Additional common reasons for requesting a child custody modification include:
A move related to a job transfer or to a better job opportunity
A move to be closer to one’s extended family
A schedule change on the job
The deteriorating health of you or your ex
When it comes to matters concerning children, the court always rules in the best interests of those children.
Child support is based on exacting state calculation guidelines, but if either of you has experienced a substantial financial change, a child support modification may be in order. Either the parent who pays child support or the parent who receives it can request a child support modification.
Alimony is called spousal maintenance in Texas, and if the recipient remarries, the obligation automatically ends – with no need to obtain a modification with the court. If, however, the recipient is living with a romantic partner the way a married couple would, the modification request must go through the court. If either the payor or the recipient’s financial situation changes considerably, a modification can be sought.