Can I Change My Divorce Decree?
When most couples stand at the altar on their wedding day, they are not contemplating divorce. Yet divorce happens. Likewise, most divorcing couples believe that their court-sanctioned divorce is immutable and can never change. However, even divorce is not final.
Parents relocate, jobs are lost and gained, and former spouses remarry and build new families. These are just a few changes that can create seismic shifts in the relationships between ex-spouses and their children and radically change their obligations and rights towards each other.
Major life changes can make the circumstances of former spouses very different from the situation that existed at the time of the original divorce decree. The classic example is alimony. If the ex-wife who is receiving alimony remarries or moves in with someone else, New York law allows the husband to petition the court for the elimination of alimony payments. Similarly, if a child grows up, or a parent’s ability to visit the child has changed, the parties can petition the court to modify the divorce decree to fit the new circumstances and needs of the family.
The court generally changes the original court-approved parenting plan, or the child support amount, if there is a substantial change in circumstances that justifies modifying the decree. Typically, a justified modification relates to the best interests of the child or is required by justice.
If your life has changed and your original divorce decree seems unfair or inappropriate, a NY divorce lawyer at our office can help you. We review your case together and work for justice for you and your family.