CAN A DIVORCE DECREE BE MODIFIED BY THE COURT?

When a divorce decree is approved by the court, it is finalized. Or is it? We discuss modifications to divorce agreements here in our Nashville family law blog. 

Both uncontested divorces and contested divorces need to be approved and finalized by a divorce court before the clauses discussed within the divorce decree become official. Once a judge approves the order and the county clerk signs and files the decree, it can feel as if everything is “set in stone” and cannot be changed. For divorcees who feel like they “lost” their divorce, that feeling of order permanence can be harrowing. 

However, no divorce decree is actually unchangeable. From child custody to child support to alimony, most aspects of a divorce are open to reevaluation. Given the right circumstances, a modification to the order could be possible. 

When a Divorce Decree Can Be Modified

Technically, both ex-spouses in a divorce have the opportunity to try to modify their preexisting divorce decree whenever they want. Does this mean that you should try to get a modification on a whim? No. Unless your modification request or petition meets certain requirements, you risk a high chance of losing time, energy, and money on something that the court will likely dismiss. 

Your modification request will only be honored if you can prove or argue three things: 

  • You have undergone a significant and unexpected life change, such as losing your job suddenly or suffering a debilitating injury. Such changes that affect your ex-spouse can also be considered, like when an ex-spouse remarries, you might request to stop paying spousal support. 
  • You are currently experiencing undue hardship in your life due to the significant life change and the preexisting conditions of your divorce decree. For example, if you lose your job but need to pay alimony, you could be put into serious debt due to that situational combination. 
  • Your requested modifications will not overlook or diminish your child’s best interests. Family law courts always consider what is best for any children involved in the divorce case, even for modifications. 

GET PROFESSIONAL LEGAL GUIDANCE FOR YOUR MODIFICATIONS

Pushing for a modification can always feel like an uphill legal battle. You will have to create a solid, comprehensive argument for your modification to be considered. 

Collins Legal is here to help guide you through your modification request from start to finish. Using 10+ years of family law experience, we can anticipate challenges ahead of time, navigating you efficiently to the outcome you deserve. Contact us online to learn more. 

Contact our Nashville divorce attorney

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