Divorce is an emotional, complicated process under Texas law, so you certainly experienced a sense of closure when your case concluded and the judge entered a final decree. However, you might not be aware that some divorce issues are subject to modification under certain circumstances. This concept may come as good news if your circumstances have changed and the terms of your divorce are no longer suitable for your current situation. You could be able to modify issues related to spousal maintenance or child custody, visitation, or support. When you are on the other side and your ex wants to make changes, you may not know how to protect our interests.
When you are facing such a confusing situation, it is crucial that you consult with an experienced attorney regarding modifications. Our team at The Ramos Law Group, PLLC represents many clients in your position, whether you are seeking to make changes or want to maintain the status quo. Please contact us to set up a consultation with a Pearland modifications lawyer, but some general information may help you understand the basics.
Legal Basis for Post-Divorce Modification
Texas’ approach to divorce cases is that it should rarely be necessary to re-address issues that were already resolved through agreement or court hearing. Therefore, the state statute requires that a court will only consider a modification when there has been a substantial change in circumstances for one former spouse or a child. Our attorneys at The Ramos Law Group, PLLC will counsel you regarding the following points regarding modifications:
- The change in circumstances must have manifested after the final divorce decree was entered. If it did not and the issue was present during the divorce case, the party’s remedy would be through an appeal.
- The modification process starts by one party filing a petition that includes a request for relief and supporting documentation. This information must also be forwarded to the ex-spouse, who has 20 days to file a written response.
- The court will schedule a hearing on the petition for modification, which is similar to a trial. Both sides will have the opportunity to present evidence and testimony to support their positions.
- If the petitioner proves that a substantial change in circumstances justifies modification, the judge may grant the petition.
- It is possible to seek modification related to financial obligations, including alimony and child support, as well as issues related to minor children.
Modifying Financial Obligations
A party may have grounds to file a modification petition related to the two key support obligations that exist after a divorce has been finalized:
Changes to Alimony: Both the recipient and payor of spousal support have standing to modify the arrangement based upon a change in circumstances. Many times, the paying party will seek a modification when a former spouse remarries or shares a household with another person as intimate partners. Other reasons to support modification may be a job loss or reduction in pay since income was an important factor in deciding the existing arrangement for spousal support.
Modifying a Child Support Order: Either parent may file a modification petition if the child’s needs have undergone a substantial change since the judge entered the current order. In addition, Texas law allows a court to revisit the issue of child support based upon economic conditions. The payor or recipient can seek modification when:
- At least three years have passed since the child support order was entered; AND,
- The amount a payor currently pays deviates by 20 percent or $100 from the child support guidelines in effect at the time.
Modifications To Child Custody & Visitation
It is also possible to modify the court’s order where the circumstances surrounding custody and visitation have substantially changed. Often, the reason for the modification is where the residential parent, i.e., managing conservator, seeks to relocate with the child. There are implications for the possessory conservator, the parent with visitation rights, since distance and other factors may impact the schedule. The parent filing the petition to modify must have compelling grounds to move, but the court will often allow a modification to child custody and visitation if it is based upon a job, family concerns, or other considerations.
Count On A Pearland Modifications Attorney To Advocate On Your Behalf
If you are facing a divorce modification situation, you need skilled legal counsel on your side to protect your interests. Our lawyers at The Ramos Law Group, PLLC are prepared to help you achieve your goals and obtain a positive result, whether by agreement or hearing in court. Please contact our office today to schedule a consultation regarding your circumstances.
Our Client Testimonials
The decision to end my 25-year marriage was not an easy one, but hiring the Ramos Law Group was. From the initial consultation to the execution of the Divorce Decree everyone at the firm displayed the utmost professionalism and I was treated as if I was their only client. My attorney Lindsey, always provided precise legal guidance, was usually one step ahead of the opposing counsel, and had a superb understanding of how things would play out in the court room. Additionally, whenever my case needed a little extra horsepower, Mary provided that "surge" to keep things on track.
"Ms. Ramos and her entire staff worked with professionalism and compassion to guide me through the most difficult time of my life and to an outcome that was best for my family and myself. Ramos Law is incredible and I highly, highly recommend their services."
"I was recommended to see Mary Ramos for my on coming custody case,it was the best thing I could've done honestly.The Ramos law group was quick with emailed responses and telephone calls,informative with ANY questions I had and they also took action with what they thought would work,which it did,I had money troubles and they were still willing to help they sent me with a younger lawyer Lindsey Lewis to help save some money and she was the best!She knew what she was doing and Mary was still on my case to make sure things went smoothly and to catch any details Lindsey and I might have missed.All in all I am a very satisfied client and if I ever needed a family lawyer again I would come back.My case was won as I received primary for my daughter which is exactly what I asked for.If you're willing to listen to what they have to say and follow their guidance they're definitely worth hiring.I thought I wanted sole custody for my daughter and they explained that wasn't in the best interest for her and honestly they were right,they speak to you on a professional level and also a real level of how things are actually going to work and what could happen if you take a certain action.They definitely care about their clients and make their own bond with you,you're not just money in their pockets you turn into family. "
"I received excellent advice and representation from Ms. Lindsey Lewis. She kept me updated at every step of the process, and I never felt as if my case was set aside. I would hire The Ramos Law Group in the future. "
"I started my divorce with a lawyer who was not very responsive. My divorce case was complicated and needed more laborious scrutiny. Since the case was not moving forward I had to switch lawyers. Made the switch to Ramos Law group. Since the very first day Mary and her team have been very efficient and meticulous. Since the case was complicated the team had to go through myriads of pages in discovery. I was pleased with the legal team that helped us handle the paperwork in a very timely manner. All my questions were answered very promptly. The relay of information was easy with their software system. We finally had a law firm that we could trust. My divorce was finalized and I only have Mary and her team to thank for going through a difficult divorce. I would highly recommend the Ramos law group for their help and support for getting my life back on track. "