Change is inevitable – and that sometimes means the original decree from your divorce can use some adjustment. At Freed Marcroft, we have experienced divorce attorneys to help you through the post-judgment issues that may arise following a divorce.
As your child’s needs evolve and your own life transforms, you might want to modify one of your divorce orders or have one enforced. Or, you might need to visit or clarify provisions. A West Hartford post-judgment divorce lawyer can help you decide the most effective steps to take to rework your divorce orders.
Modifying Divorce Orders by Agreement, Mediation, or Collaborative Law
If your or your ex’s circumstances have changed and you need to modify alimony, child support, or child custody agreements, working directly with your former spouse can be an efficient and empowering strategy. You can either speak with your spouse one-on-one, or work with a mediator to reach a consensus. In fact, your divorce order may require you to try mediation before you file with the court. If you had a collaborative divorce, your divorce orders might outline an alternative path to resolve post-judgment issues. Consult with an experienced West Hartford post-judgment divorce lawyer to understand how your specific orders address future modifications, and to design a plan to resolve your post-judgment matter as efficiently as possible.
Modifying Child Custody or Support Agreements
Most changes to a court order must be formally submitted to the divorce court to be reviewed and approved so that they become official court orders. An attorney will help with this after you and your ex agree on a change, plus the lawyer will review the post-divorce modification plan you made to ensure you understand its legal implications.
It’s important to know that if you want to change agreements that directly affect your children, the divorce court must do an independent analysis to decide whether the change is in the children’s best interests. Even when parents agree on a change, a court won’t accept it if the judge doesn’t believe it would serve the children well. Even a change that makes things easier for one or both of you will not necessarily benefit the child in the court’s eyes. This can sometimes be frustrating and hard to accept but it’s necessary to understand.
What happens when one person feels a change is necessary, but the other party disagrees? In most cases, the person requesting the change must bring a court action to enforce or modify the existing order. A West Hartford post-judgment divorce attorney from Freed Marcroft can help you present your case for or against a modification action.
Petitions to Modify Alimony or Child Support
In most cases, the party requesting the change must prove that a major change has occurred that justifies a modification. Judges expect a change to be significant, such as losing a job or home, remarriage, the birth of another child, or a major improvement in someone’s financial situation. In the case of a child support modification, the change must also be in the child’s best interest. An experienced attorney can give you a better sense of what the court will view as a significant enough change in circumstances to warrant a modification.
Petitions to Modify/Enforce Custody
Petitions to modify custody often occur when a parent wishes to relocate with the child over the other parent’s objection. If you’re seeking relocation, you must prove that moving your home will support your child’s best interests. In other words, the court’s focus will be on how the proposed move will benefit your child.
Divorce courts will consider the:
- Parent’s reasons for moving
- Impact that moving would have on the child’s educational progress
- Effect on the parenting plan and whether the other parent could maintain a regular visitation schedule if the child moves
- Nature of the relationship between the child and the other parent
An experienced attorney can share their experience on whether your circumstances are likely to justify a relocation in the court’s eyes. For example, the judge may view a move to the next town differently than an out-of-state relocation. Courts try to ensure that both parents have meaningful opportunities to parent their children.
In sensitive situations, Connecticut General Statutes § 46b-15 allows the divorce court to grant an emergency change in custody based on an imminent threat to the child. An emergency motion for custody might be necessary if the children are exposed to domestic violence, abuse, neglect, drug or alcohol misuse, or other dangerous situations when in a parent’s care. Pursuing an emergency change in custody is a complicated procedure, and you should have a West Hartford lawyer with you to carefully navigate this post-judgment request.
Plan for Your Future with a West Hartford Post-Judgment Divorce Attorney
Couples often seek changes to the agreements they reached when they divorced. When you agree on the necessary changes, courts often accept revised agreements if they support the children’s best interests. When you disagree, you must go to divorce court and convince a judge to support your position.
Whether you and your spouse create a new agreement together or you need to go to litigation, a West Hartford post-judgment divorce lawyer can offer our legal knowledge and guidance about likely outcomes in court. Please place a call to Freed Marcroft today so we can hear your story.