A divorce decree or any family law agreement likely involved a lot of time and effort to finalize. Ideally, it is an equitable arrangement where both sides get what they need. This may have been the case at one point, but the circumstances involving the parent and the children change. An effective arrangement takes foreseeable issues into consideration, but no one can plan for every contingency.
The couple may still need to modify the arrangement. This can be done by filing an appeal, which is used if there was a significant error that occurred during the trial. As with all litigation, this formal process takes time and money because it involves going back to court.
Another option is a mediated approach where the couple modifies the divorce decree with the help of an attorney. This can address such issues as child custody arrangements, visitation, property division, spousal support, child support, or other matters vital to the wellbeing of the family. If the parties mediate, they file a motion to modify the divorce decree or judgment. This is usually done with the same court where the divorce judgment was issued.
Reasons for doing it
While effective divorce agreements consider common issues that divorced families often face, including relocation, loss of a job, the changing needs of the children as they age, life has a way of presenting unforeseen circumstances, including such critical matters as:
- Substance abuse or addiction: This can leave a parent unable to provide a safe living environment for the children, particularly if the parent does not seek the help they need.
- Domestic violence: This can involve mental or physical abuse of children or an ex-spouse. Report this immediately to law enforcement when it occurs.
- Remarriage: A second marriage is common, but there may need to be formalized shifts in the financial agreement or parenting plan.
Change is a part of life
It is said that change is the only constant in life. This is certainly true with a family that goes through a divorce. An experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney can help clients resolve the issue in a fair and equitable manner, and can also help ensure the continued well-being of the children and parent.