Paternity and divorce proceedings can require a substantial amount of time and effort and in many instances may become extremely emotional. To finalize a divorce proceeding, the court issues a dissolution of marriage decree. Similarly, paternity proceedings can result in a decree that specifies the role of the legal father in the life of his child or children. Post-marriage arrangements and paternity matter arrangements utilize those decrees as a foundation because they often specify child support obligations, parenting time and legal decision-making rights, as well as spousal maintenance payments and the allocation of assets in dissolution cases. While court decrees are very thorough, they are formed to cover a period of time during which circumstances often change. Because provisions of the decree or other court orders affect so many important aspects of life, a periodic comparison of the decree and your circumstances can help avoid provisions that no longer benefit either party.
If upon inspection, you find stipulations or provisions that no longer reflect your lifestyle, the decree can be modified. Post-decree modification can help to better tailor a post-marital agreement to be beneficial and practical for both parties. Some common reasons for post-decree modification include loss of employment or of a substantial amount of hours, a change in a child’s living space, health, or education, remarriage, and the relocation of a parent or child. Because the court is reluctant to modify any standing orders, it is mandatory that the two parties attempt to reach a mutual agreement through mediation first. However, if that is not successful, a motion to modify can be filed.
Dissolution decrees affect the most important aspects of your life. If the circumstances you’ve found yourself in do not match up with the provisions of your agreement, it is in your best interest to consult a lawyer about mediation or modification. The experienced family law attorneys at Giordano Spanier & Heckele Law Firm can help with ensuring your agreement works best for you. Call today for a consultation at (520) 339-6804 or email [email protected]