Post-Judgment Modifications Divorce Attorney in Austin, TX
When your divorce has been managed correctly, the final divorce order will leave you financially secure, in possession of property that is rightfully yours, and assured that your children will enjoy a supportive home environment. But if circumstances change, you may need to seek a modification of your divorce order so that it continues to meet your needs.
If you are no longer satisfied with the terms of your Texas divorce decree or you are unable to continue fulfilling its requirements, an experienced Austin post-judgment modifications divorce attorney with Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C., can assist you. We can provide the qualified and compassionate legal counsel you need to seek justifiable modifications to the terms and conditions of a divorce decree handed down in Texas.
Contact Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C. at (512) 476-4873 today for a consultation with an Austin family law lawyer about modifying your divorce decree. Talk to a compassionate divorce attorney who is prepared to fight for your best interests.
Why Choose Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C. For Your Post-Judgment Modifications?
Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C., has provided outstanding legal representation to individuals and families in Central Texas since 1963. Our attorneys have earned a reputation as the go-to law firm for complex divorce and separation cases. Our goal in divorce cases, including when seeking post-judgment modifications, is to explore the best options to help clients move forward and protect their interests at every step.
Our hard work and the results we have achieved for clients have earned us such recognitions as being named to the Best Lawyers in America and to Super Lawyers and earning an AV® rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given to attorneys.
Common Types of Post-Judgment Divorce Modifications
Your life does not come to a standstill after a divorce. Because the law recognizes this, Texas law allows individuals to seek modifications of divorce orders when warranted. To be approved, a petition to modify a divorce order must be supported by evidence that persuades a judge that:
- The petitioner’s circumstances or the circumstances of a child affected by the order have substantially changed since the order was issued; and
- The requested modification is in the best interest of any child affected by it.
We typically help clients obtain modifications to divorce orders that pertain to:
- Child Custody and/or Visitation, such as when:
-The living environment provided for the child is unstable or dangerous.
-The custodial parent becomes ill and unable to care for the child, which may include the illness of substance addiction.
-The custodial parent participates in neglectful, criminal, immoral, or abusive acts.
-The custodial parent wants to move away.
-The custodial parent can’t control their child’s negative behavior.
-An older child prefers to live with one parent over the other.
-The custodial parent begins cohabitating with another person.
-The custodial parent relinquishes custody of the child to someone else.
- Child Support, such as when:
-The income of the parent providing child support changes substantially. In Texas, the noncustodial parent typically pays 20% of their net income in child support for one child and up to 40% for -five or more children, according to a handbook for noncustodial parents published by the Texas Attorney General’s office.
-The child support agreement has not changed in three years and may need adjustment for economic changes and changes in the child’s routine needs.
-The child’s financial needs have changed substantially, such as due to illness, health insurance requirements, or educational needs.
-The child ages out of child support.
-The parent receiving child support remarries or begins cohabitating with another person.
- Spousal Support (alimony), such as when:
-The income of the party providing spousal support changes substantially (whether a gain or loss).
-The income of the party receiving spousal support increases substantially.
-The party receiving spousal support remarries or begins cohabitating with another person.
Under the Texas Family Code (Section 9.007), a court cannot modify the agreement to divide marital property that is part of a divorce order. The court can enforce or clarify a prior property division order, but it cannot issue a new agreement. If there is marital property discovered that was not divided during divorce proceedings, either spouse can file suit to ask the court to determine the proper distribution of this property.
An exception to this is the proper division of a pension, retirement plan, or other employment benefits that are considered marital property. The court will hear a petition from a party to a divorce order to issue a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) or similar order to direct the division of retirement assets if they were not properly distributed as part of the divorce.
Changing Geographic Restrictions in Texas Child Custody Orders
Child custody agreements usually have geographic restrictions requiring the custodial parent and child to live close enough to the noncustodial parent to allow visits without burdensome travel requirements. Texas courts want each parent to provide a stable home life for their child. But if there is a valid reason for a parent and child to move, the court may approve it.
A petition to modify geographic restrictions in a divorce order may be approved if evidence persuades a judge the move offers:
- Better health or educational opportunities for the child
- Closer family support
- Better job opportunities or career advancement for the custodial parent
A judge may lift geographic restrictions for a custodial parent who is remarrying or if the noncustodial parent does not oppose the change or has previously failed to regularly visit and spend time with the child.
How To Modify a Divorce Order Post-Judgment in Texas
A party to a divorce in Texas may petition the court to change a divorce order issued in Texas after a year or after three years when seeking to modify child support requirements.
A petition to modify a divorce order must be filed in the county where the divorce was initially handled. The petition must provide evidence of a substantial change in circumstances that makes it necessary to modify the standing divorce order for the best interests of any child.
At a hearing, the judge will rule on the petition and issue an order modifying your original divorce decree.
If the other party does not oppose the modification, the judge will review the petition and, assuming it is in the child’s best interest, will approve it upon each party stating their consent.
If the child’s other parent opposes the modification, it becomes a default modification petition and is more complex. After filing the petition, the petitioner must ensure that the petition is served upon the other party and obtain proof of service.
The petitioner will be allowed to present their argument for the modification to the judge, along with supporting testimony and other evidence. The other parent will be allowed to question the petitioner’s witnesses and present their own side of the argument with witnesses and evidence. The petitioner will have the right to question opposing testimony and evidence.
The judge will weigh the evidence and decide whether to grant a post-judgment medication of the divorce order.
The legal team at Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C. can advocate for you and your best interests if you need to seek a modification of your divorce order or if your ex-spouse files such a petition. We can help you to prepare and present your side of the story in court. We will guide you through the process of seeking a divorce order modification in Texas and will protect you and your interests at every step.
Get in Touch With an Expert Lawyer in Post-judgment Modifications Near You
Changes in your life, your ex’s life, or your child’s life could require modifying your divorce order. When this happens, turn to an experienced Austin post-judgment modification of orders attorney with Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C., for the legal counsel you need. Our team of family lawyers is experienced with trial settings. We will not be intimidated by the complexity of your modification needs or anything in your ex’s petition.
We have assisted clients throughout the greater Austin area for 60 years, including in Travis, Hays, and Williamson counties. If you need to modify an order for child support, child custody, geographic restriction, or alimony, call (512) 476-4873 or reach out to us using our online form to discuss your legal options and how we can ensure your rights and best interests are upheld.