Even though the Texas divorce process isn’t easy, you no doubt felt relieved and got a sense of closure when the final decree was entered. However, circumstances can change in the years that follow, either for you or your ex-spouse. When life brings a new reality, the terms and conditions of divorce may no longer be suitable for one of the parties or their children. At some point, you may wonder if you can make modifications to spousal maintenance or child custody, visitation, and support. On the other side of things, your ex might be seeking a modification, so you’re unsure of your rights.
It’s understandable that you have questions and concerns about divorce modifications because the laws in this area are complicated. If you’re facing these issues, it’s important to have knowledgeable counsel on your side. Our attorneys at The Ramos Law Group, PLLC have extensive experience representing clients in your position, so we’re prepared to assist with your case. Please contact our firm to schedule a consultation with a modifications lawyer in The Woodlands, and read on for an overview of the process.
Summary of Post-Divorce Modification Laws in Texas: As a practical matter, divorce laws generally don’t favor modifications because they tend to rehash issues that were already settled. The statute will only allow parties to make changes if there is a substantial change in circumstances for one of the parties or a child. Our attorneys at The Ramos Law Group, PLLC will advise you, but you should note a few considerations to note regarding modifications in Texas divorce cases:
- The lifestyle change must have occurred since the time that the divorce decree was entered. Otherwise, your remedy would be through an appeal of the divorce court’s finding.
- One party, as petitioner, can seek modification by filing a petition with the court and forwarding according to Texas laws regarding service. The other party, as a respondent, has 20 days to file a written answer.
- The court will set a hearing on the modification petition, in which both sides will present arguments, evidence, and testimony on their respective positions.
- If the petitioner demonstrates a material and substantial change in circumstances, the court may grant the modification.
- You can seek modification regarding child custody, child support, or spousal maintenance, i.e., alimony.
Modifications to a Spousal Maintenance Order: If the Texas divorce court granted post-divorce maintenance to one of the parties, it’s possible for both the recipient and the payor to make changes to the arrangement. When you’re the one paying spousal maintenance, one of the most common reasons for seeking a modification is when your ex remarries or cohabitates with another adult in an intimate partnership. However, courts will also review the same factors that led to the original decision to award spousal support. When the substantial change in circumstances directly impacts these factors, it’s more likely that the judge will allow a modification.
Modifying a Child Support Order: The same standard applies when seeking to modify child support, so you’ll still need to show a material and substantial change since the order was entered. The recipient parent may want to file a modification petition when the other parent’s salary has increased, justifying a higher amount. Another scenario is when the child’s needs have undergone considerable change.
There is another legal ground to seek modification without a showing of substantial change, and it’s based upon economic conditions rather than your own circumstances. You can file a petition for modification if:
- It has been three years or more since the child support was issued; AND,
- The monthly amount differs by 20 percent or $100 from the child support guidelines established by law.
Other Modifications Regarding Children: Child custody and visitation can also be modified in the event of a substantial change. One of the most common reasons is relocation by the residential parent, termed the “managing conservator” in Texas. The possessory conservator has visitation rights regarding the child, so moving the child could have a serious impact on the ability to exercise them. Still, a petition to modify can be based upon a change in jobs, work schedules, the child’s school, and other grounds.
Discuss Your Situation With A Modifications Attorney In The Woodlands
Whether your own circumstances have changed or your ex-spouse is seeking divorce modification, you’re in a better position to obtain a favorable outcome when you work with a skilled lawyer. To learn more about how we can assist with the process, please contact The Ramos Law Group, PLLC. We can set up a consultation to review your situation and determine how to move forward.
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. "