There are many reasons why you may seek to amend your divorce agreement. For example, change in circumstances may make it difficult to adhere to the divorce decree. Alternatively, you may be seeking for a modification to increase your contact with the children. Whatever your reason for seeking such an amendment, you stand a better chance of succeeding if you do the following.
Try an Out of Court Settlement
You don't have to battle your divorce decree change in court; there is an option of making an out-of-court agreement. Therefore, instead of rushing to court, try to talk with the other parent first. If you do agree, then (depending on your jurisdiction) the court may consider it an Uncontested Amendment, which means you don't need a hearing; you just file the agreement in court.
Exhibit a Model Behavior
You stand a higher chance of succeeding if you have been keeping your part of the decree since the divorce. This means your behavior should not suggest that you are already chasing the decree before you make the modification legal. For example, if you are seeking to modify child support, you should make all your payments (in full) in a timely manner until the issue is resolved in court. Your model behavior should be clear both in and out of court.
Different forms of positive behavior that may help you in court include
- Staying in contact with your child as much as possible
- Getting involved in your child's school activities, for example, attending his o her sporting activities
- Having a calm but positive demeanor in court
Have a Reasonable Request
Lastly, you stand a better chance of getting your desired modification if your request is reasonable. This is true even if you are seeking an out-of-court amendment or you have a court battle ahead of you. For example, it may be that your job mandated frequent overnight trips when the decree was issued, and you could not have the children overnight in your house. If the situation has changed, and you now have a job or positions without nighttime travels, then it is reasonable to request such a change.
You should know that you don't need a lawyer to modify your divorce decree. However, your chances of succeeding increase tremendously if you do hire one. The process is not easy if it goes to court; you need to make a strong case (especially if your ex-partner has model behavior). Talk to a professional like Karp Law Offices for more advice.