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How To Modify Your Final Divorce Decree

For those who are going through a divorce, the final divorce decree is something that you could feel anxious about or something you are looking forward to. It indeed takes a lot of time and effort to achieve the Final Divorce Decree. In most cases, it also takes lots of heartaches and stress. For sure since the moment you thought of getting a divorce, to the time you receive your final divorce decree, you’ve been in a rollercoaster of stressful events.
Despite all your sufferings, there is really no guarantee that the final divorce decree will hold the terms that you are hoping for. An excellent Texas divorce attorney can help you achieve what you want out of the divorce but there are no guarantees in a divorce unless you go for a mediation and negotiate well with your spouse.

You can get the court’s final order whether you go for a trial or a mediation. No matter which way you choose to end your divorce, everything is still subject to the court’s approval and decision. The court will release final orders, which will be your final divorce decree. It states all of the terms related to your divorce. It involves basically everything, from child custody arrangement to child support schedules, visiting schedules and terms for every matter related to your divorce. It will also state orders related to finances, such as division of property, spousal support and the like. Your Final Divorce Decree will be very specific. However, you won’t always be in agreement with it.

When Your Situation Calls For a Modification of Your Final Divorce Decree

As they say, the only constant thing in life is change. There will be changes in your life and your children’s life after the divorce. After some time, there will be additional changes since times change. As the circumstances around your family continue to change, your ex-spouse and your children will grow and you might suddenly realize that the terms in your Final Divorce Decree are no longer appropriate for you and your family. When this happens, you might need to amend your final divorce decree.

Obviously, you can’t do it yourself. Instead, you can file for a modification of your divorce decree. When you file this, you need to make sure that you are filing it at the same court that handled your divorce case previously.

Justifying a Modification of Final Divorce Decree

As you know, you can’t just file something in court and expect it to be granted without questions asked. If you want to make changes to your final divorce decree, you need to convince the court that it is necessary to do so. The Texas laws do not bend towards modifications unless there have been significant changes in circumstances of a party to the divorce case or changes in circumstances of the child. The acceptable changes being referred to should be those that happened between the rolling out of the Final divorce decree to the time one party filed for modification of the final divorce decree. A party can file for modification as early as one year after the final order has been announced by the court.

Most Common Reasons For Modification

Modification of the Final Divorce Decree is typically done to change the terms of either child support, spousal support or child custody.

Spousal maintenance is more commonly known as alimony. Spousal support may not be included in each final divorce order but there are situations where Texas courts orders spousal support to be paid by one party. Typically, it is awarded to spouses with disabilities or to spouses who are parents of children with disabilities that require a lot of attention. These circumstances can hinder the spouse from working and supporting himself or herself, which is why the court orders spousal support. Such orders can be modified when there are substantial changes to either yours or your ex-spouse circumstances.

Child support and child custody orders that are part of your final divorce decree can also be modified according to the guidelines of the Texas Family Code. The modification can be granted, depending on changes in your spouse’s financial status. In the same way, you can request for your child custody arrangements to be changed if there are geographical changes, life-changing life events as well as medical issues.

For more information, contact an efficient family law attorney who is experienced in divorce and final divorce decree modifications.

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at