Colorado Post Decree Modification Lawyers


Post-decree Modification Attorneys

You made it through the grueling divorce process and came away with divorce terms that worked for you and your children to one degree or another. This, however, is not always the end of the story. Issues related to child custody arrangements and child support can arise as your children journey toward adulthood, and the court’s mechanism for addressing these issues is the post divorce decree modification. If you believe a post-decree modification is in order, consult with an experienced divorce attorney who regularly addresses these often-complicated matters.

If You and Your Ex Are in Agreement

If you and your ex spouse both recognize the need for post divorce modifications and agree to the terms, making the change is a simple legal process that your experienced divorce attorney can effectively execute in short order. As long as the terms you reach are reasonable and protect the best interests of your shared children, the court is very likely to sign off on your request for modification. It is more common, however, for couples to disagree on these matters, which requires more extensive negotiations or for the court to become involved.

Modification of Child Custody Arrangements

As your children move toward becoming adults, their schedules, needs, and preferences also evolve. Child custody arrangements made when your children were very young very well may not be applicable as they age. Under Colorado law, if you can demonstrate that a substantial and ongoing change has taken place and that a modification to your child custody arrangements is in the best interest of your children, the court will carefully consider your request in determining whether or not a modification is in order. Factors that can play a pivotal role include:

  • Your child has entered middle school or high school and now spends more time traveling to and from school.
  • Your child has taken a job to help save money for college and no longer has time to keep up with his or her visitation schedule.
  • Your child participates in a sport that precludes him or her from sticking with the visitation schedule.
  • Your child wishes to live primarily with the parent who isn’t currently the primary custodial parent.

Children have highly specific needs that change as they age, and it isn’t difficult to imagine a scenario in which a change in child custody arrangements would be beneficial.

Child Support Modification

Child support is another common post-decree modification. If you and/or your ex’s financial circumstances has changed considerably (enough to effect a 15 percent change in child support) and the change is ongoing – not temporary – you may be eligible for a modification of child support. It’s important to understand, however, that such a modification won’t go into effect until you file – it will not be applied retroactively (even if you would have qualified earlier). Parental responsibilities or other parent’s parenting time can also be modified.

Modification of Spousal Maintenance

Sometimes, it’s also appropriate to modify spousal maintenance. Some spousal support orders, however, directly state that they are not modifiable (if both you and your then-spouse agreed to that term at the time), and such a spousal maintenance order remains non-modifiable. If either you or your ex’s finances have experience significant change and the change isn’t a temporary change, you can request a modification of spousal maintenance, but the issue is less cut-and-dry than it is in the case of child support (if the change in circumstances is significant enough to effect a 15-percent change in payments, the court is likely to implement the modification).

The court has considerable discretion when it comes to the modification of spousal maintenance – as it does in awarding spousal maintenance in the first place – and makes its decisions based on the unique circumstances presented. For example, if your ex is requesting a decrease in your spousal maintenance because he’s experienced a significant pay decrease, the court may determine that he or she can still afford to keep up with spousal maintenance as ordered in the divorce decrees. By the same token, if your ex is making more money, the court may not find that this change entitles you to more maintenance if your reasonable needs were met by the original award, to begin with.

Discuss a Post-Decree Modification with our Experienced Divorce Attorneys Today

If you’re interested in pursuing changing your original divorce decree, the post-decree modification attorneys at CNL Law Firm, PLLC, have extensive experience in modifications.

Our family law attorneys can help you come up with a divorce settlement that’s fair and equitable for both you and your ex. Any substantial change to the original decree must be done through a formal court-approved modification, so it’s important that you discuss the process with an experienced divorce lawyer.

Your divorce-related needs are important, so please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at (720) 370-2171 for a free consultation.

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