Never Make Divorce Modifications By Yourself!
Court orders are forever, as a rule. But kids get older, parents experience financial upheavals and other circumstances often combine to make modifications to decrees and court orders desirable.
At Sowald Sowald Anderson Hawley & Johnson, we represent clients seeking modifications in the areas of custody, visitation, child support and spousal support. The court does not have the authority to modify a property distribution after a divorce of dissolution are final, except under very limited circumstances involving fraud, mistake or the occurrence of a significant, unforeseen situation.
Generally speaking, custody modifications and support modifications are easy when both sides are in agreement and the change being requested is reasonable. We help many divorced couples make these changes.
When the two sides disagree over the change, that’s when you need experienced counsel to plead your case. We often suggest that the two sides work through these disagreements in mediation. It’s quicker, friendlier and almost always less expensive. It is easier to live with a decision you work out on your own.
The court will want these conditions to be in evidence:
- The change in life circumstances must be real and significant.
- The change must not go against the best interest of the child.
- The change must clearly result in more good than harm.
The worst thing a divorced couple can do is work out informal modifications, away from the court’s oversight. Such agreements have no legal standing. Often, the court orders back payments for child support or spousal maintenance to be repaid in full.