Going through a divorce can understandably be one of the most difficult experiences you can have in life. After all, divorce is about untangling intertwined emotions just as much as it is about untangling finances. Both processes can be immensely painful to navigate.
For this reason, you may naturally breathe a sigh of relief after finalizing your divorce in Utah. However, circumstances can quickly change following the dissolution of your marriage, in which case modifying your divorce decree may be necessary.
Why a modification?
Following your divorce, you may find that your current divorce judgment is no longer appropriate in light of your reality at present. For instance, maybe you or your spouse is seeking to relocate to be closer to family or for a new job.
Another reason a divorce decree modification might be necessary is if you have experienced a change in your income, or your ex-spouse and co-parent has had a change in income. For example, perhaps you have been paying $1,000 a month in spousal and child support but your company experienced layoffs and now you can’t afford the payments. In this case, you can seek to modify your support obligations temporarily.
Yet another situation that might warrant a divorce order modification is if your child’s needs have changed with regard to matters such as health care or education. If police arrested the other parent for a crime such as drug possession, you may want to petition the court to modify your custody arrangement accordingly.
With a motion to modify your divorce judgment, you are essentially asking the court to alter aspects of your judgment, such as alimony, child support, child custody arrangements or visitation schedules. This generally involves filing a modification motion with the same court in which you initially filed your divorce and finalized it.
How is a modification different from an appeal?
Unlike a motion to modify, the appeal of a divorce court’s judgment to a higher court involves actually challenging the judge’s decision if you disagree with it. However, you typically can’t appeal from a settlement agreement if you and your ex-spouse agreed to its terms. Whether you are seeking to modify a divorce judgment or appeal a court decision, you have the right to pursue the most favorable outcome possible given the circumstances surrounding your case.