If you’re already divorced, the last thing you want to do is go back to court with your ex. Unfortunately, sometimes situations change, and divorced ex-spouses need to ask the courts to modify their divorce decree.
Below, the New York divorce attorneys of The Mandel Law Firm explain when divorce decrees can be modified and how a knowledgeable lawyer can help you change the terms of your finalized divorce.
Can a Divorce Decree Be Modified?
Yes. Although doing so is uncommon, divorce decrees can be modified after being finalized in New York. Ex-spouses may want to modify their divorce decrees as a result of major life events or other changes in circumstance, such as:
- An increase or reduction in one party’s income
- One party transferring jobs or moving elsewhere
- A change in the needs of a child or children in common
- One party becoming ill or injured and unable to work
- One party losing their job or benefits
- One party remarrying or re-partnering
Many divorce decree modifications involve changes in child custody and support obligations. If you and/or your ex-spouse want to modify your divorce decree, it’s necessary to request a modification in court. A casual, verbal modification is not legally enforceable, even if both exes agree to the terms.
Under What Circumstances Can I Modify My Divorce Decree?
To change the terms of a divorce decree in New York, you are required to demonstrate to the court that you have experienced a substantial change in circumstances. This change in circumstances must be so significant that there is reasonable justification for the court to revise its original ruling.
The party who files the motion for a divorce decree modification is responsible for demonstrating why the modification is necessary. Judges typically require extensive documentation as proof of a substantial change in circumstances, and standards regarding what kind of change is “substantial” may vary from case to case.
Why Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer?
The requirements for modifying a New York divorce decree can be complicated and confusing. If you believe it’s necessary to change the terms of your divorce decree, it’s best to work with a knowledgeable divorce attorney who can:
- Review the details of your situation to determine whether you have grounds for a motion to modify your divorce decree
- Help you identify and present compelling evidence that demonstrates a substantial change in your circumstances
- Act as a professional, unbiased mediator between you and your ex-spouse
- Prepare the paperwork and documentation necessary to file your motion in court
- Anticipate any objections the other side may have to your motion and prepare strong defenses in advance
- Represent you during hearings and argue your case persuasively in front of a family law judge
Contact Mandel Law Today
If your circumstances have changed so that your ability to support yourself or your children is in jeopardy, you may have grounds to modify the terms of your divorce, even after it’s been finalized by a New York court.
At The Mandel Law Firm, our knowledgeable New York divorce attorneys have the resources and the experience needed to help you build a strong case for the results you deserve. We work tirelessly to provide every client who walks through our doors with the best representation possible, and we’ll always make ourselves available to answer your questions and address your needs.
Contact us online or by calling (646) 770-3868 to learn more about how we can help you modify the terms of your divorce decree in your initial case evaluation.