Divorce Modification Attorneys in Utah
Don’t let anyone tell you that Modifying Divorce Decrees is impossible. It is hard, but when it is the right thing to do, the Courts will review a requested change.
As time passes, an Order of the Court may no longer accurately reflect your current situation. Changes such as getting remarried, moving to a new home, or losing a job (to name just a few) can make the terms of your Order incompatible with your day-to-day reality.
Court Orders Can be Modified in Utah
The good news is that divorce decrees or other orders of the court can be modified where there is good cause, supported by a material and substantial change in circumstances. For example, a person may ask the court to increase child support payments because their ex-spouse is now making a much greater income than at the time of divorce.
The Modification Process
Generally, if you want to modify some aspect of your Decree of Divorce or other Order, you will need to file a Petition to Modify with the same court that issued it. Keep in mind that the Court is looking for a “material and substantial change in circumstances.” In other words, the change must not be minimal, and not of a temporary nature. Simply wishing to alter your custody arrangement because you no longer like it does not qualify. Similarly, the court will probably not lessen your alimony payments merely because you have come to regret agreeing to pay them.
Note that there is an additional requirement if you are requesting a change that affects a minor child, such as custody, parent-time schedules, and certain aspects of your parenting plan. After demonstrating that your situation has changed meaningfully and permanently, you must also show the court that the proposed change is in the child’s best interest. When performing this analysis, the Court is guided by specific factors found in the applicable statutes. (see Utah Code Annotated 30-3-33 and Utah Code Annotated 30-3-34 )
If your situation meets the “material and substantial” requirement, then your Petition to Modify will proceed through the court process in much the same way that the original case did. Answers, discovery of evidence, mediation, temporary orders, and court hearings are all done in similar fashion. In essence, you are re-litigating your case – but this time, with a narrower focus on just the issues that have been affected by your changed circumstances.
Let Us Review Your Case.
As with any family law case, hiring legal representation allows you to shift the burden to a trained professional and to direct your energies to other things. Don’t go it alone – our attorneys stand ready to help you through the modification process.