Divorce Modification


Divorce Modification Attorney in Suffolk County, NY

Not all marriages have happy endings, and sometimes filing for a divorce is what is best for a couple and their family. A final divorce decree is issued by the court once the whole divorce process is completed. This will typically outline the obligation and rights of each party involved, with regards to child support, child custody, alimony, and division of property.

Although it is called a final divorce decree, it is still possible to modify a divorce decree under certain circumstances. For instance, you may want to increase child support if the parent of your child has started to earn more, or you may want to change your visitation rights.

If you want to make modifications to your divorce decree, you’d have to file a petition to modify your decree of divorce in the same court that issued it. It will only be approved by the court if your request is valid and if there’s a substantial change that is permanent after divorce.

If your request for modification will affect your minor children, for instance, it is about your parental rights or child custody arrangement, you’d have to provide additional information to prove that:

  • There is a permanent and substantial change in the situation of either parent.
  • The changes are for the child’s best interests.

Negotiating with your ex-spouse can sometimes be hard especially after going through a divorce. Before filing a petition for modification, it is best to consult with a trusted Suffolk County divorce modification attorney to ensure that all legal issues will be covered, your petition is warranted, and that you have all the necessary paperwork required to process your request.

Call us at 631-920-3848 to get legal help with your divorce modification today.

What Can Be Modified in a Divorce Decree?

Each state has different procedures and divorce laws when it comes to the process of modifying a divorce decree. Which parts of the divorce decree are allowed to be modified depends on the state laws as well. In Suffolk County, visitation schedules, child support orders, child custody orders, and spousal support can usually be modified even after the decree is issued.

Once you get divorced and a final decree is issued, however, the court can no longer modify the arranged division of property, unless it is stated in the divorce decree that you can modify the division of marital property arrangements. For instance, if your final divorce decree allows for altering the property division for assets forgotten to include in the list of properties during the divorce process, then a modification of the property division would be allowed. In addition, if you and your ex-spouse agree to modify the division of marital property, then the court may allow it.

California family laws regarding divorce modification can be confusing, but seeking the help of a Suffolk County divorce modification attorney can help you understand these laws better.

What Circumstances Allow Modifications?

The court requires you to show proof that there has been a significant change in your circumstances after the decree has been issued. The court will then decide whether your request will be granted or not.

Usually, courts in Suffolk County, NY, would allow for modifications in a divorce decree under these circumstances:

  • Changes in your or your ex-spouse’s financial situation. For instance, if you’re the non-custodial parent and you’re unable to pay child support on time, or you’re the custodial parent and you’re unable to support the child due to financial hardship;
  • Changes in your situation that would affect your child’s quality of life. For example, if you or your ex-spouse loses your job or has been diagnosed with a critical illness, a modification in the child custody arrangement or the child support order in the divorce decree may be necessary for the well-being of the child;
  • Changes in California state laws, requirements, or guidelines regarding family law and divorce
  • Relocation of you or your ex-spouse makes the current visitation schedule or child custody arrangement not feasible, which makes a custody modification necessary

If you have plans on making changes in your divorce decree or if you’re interested to know more about what modifications you can make in your divorce decree, it is best to speak with an experienced Suffolk County divorce attorney.

Violating the terms indicated in the final divorce decree can have serious implications. If you or your ex-spouse fails to follow the orders indicated in the divorce decree, you or your ex-spouse may face serious legal consequences. For instance, if you fail to make child support payments on time, this may be considered as contempt in court.

That is why it is ideal to request a modification of the divorce decree right away if there are certain orders which you are unable to follow. Most modifications (except revisions in the property division) are allowed by the court as long as it is in the best interest of the child or there are unavoidable changes in your circumstances.

What Steps Should You Take to File a Divorce Modification in Suffolk County, NY?

Usually, a divorce decree needs to be modified because of a material change in the situation of the individual seeking modification. When requesting a modification for your divorce decree, it is best to wait for some time to show that there is a significant change in your situation.

To request a modification in the divorce decree, the “petitioner,” or the individual seeking modification, must file a petition or request to modify the original decree. The petition for modification must then be served by the petitioner to the “respondent” or the ex-spouse. Aside from filing a petition for modification, the petitioner may be required to also file evidence that supports their claim that there has been a significant or material change in their circumstances since the original petition was issued.

If it is evident that there’s been a significant change in your circumstances and it requires that your original decree be modified, then the court may allow the modification in your decree. However, if your ex-spouse contests the modification or if the court contests that a modification is necessary, then a hearing may take place.

Call Our Suffolk County Divorce Modification Attorney Today!

At Donato Law, our Suffolk County divorce modification attorney can provide you with legal assistance during your divorce proceedings. If you’re planning to apply for a divorce modification in Suffolk County, NY, our trusted family law attorneys can provide you with proper legal counsel, help you come up with a solution that best fits your needs, and represent you in court. 

Call us today at 631-920-3848 for an initial consultation.

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