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Decree modifications may be necessary following divorce

Following the marital dissolution process in Texas, you may feel relieved to move on with your life. However, you and your ex-spouse may experience various life changes that will cause you to revisit your divorce decree. In such situations, you can pursue decree modifications in a Texas family law court.

As an example, perhaps you are making child support payments to your ex-spouse but end up losing your job. Because the loss of your job is deemed a substantial change, you can request that the court modify this aspect of your divorce decree. However, if your job loss is only temporary, the court likely will not reduce your child support obligations.

Modifications are also possible for addressing child custody situations. Substantial changes that may spark the need for child custody modifications include having to relocate, domestic violence and substance abuse. Also, if a parent experiences a decline in his or her health, or if a parent faces trouble in the criminal justice system, custody modifications may be needed.

You may be tempted to make informal divorce decree modifications on your own with the other party. However, this is risky, as your ex-spouse may suddenly decide to ignore your informal modifications and return to what is stipulated in your original decree. That means if you stopped making child support payments as part of your informal agreement, your ex may demand that you pay all of your arrearages in full. Instead, it may behoove you to consult an attorney in Texas when embarking on the modification process. Your attorney can help you to obtain the court approval you need to make your modifications official and thus protect your best interests.