For many, the phrase “divorce decree” sounds resolute. Just by hearing those words, many may would conclude that once a judge’s order is put into place and that no changes to the settlement could be made.
However, this is far from the case. There are many changes in circumstances that may warrant making modifications to a divorce order. There are two primary methods for seeking changes to a divorce order.
One of simplest ways of going about making modifications to a divorce order is by filing a “motion to modify” with the court where the order was initially signed off on by a judge.
The other, more involved approach for seeking a modification of a divorce order is by appeal. While changes to an order can be requested this way, judges rarely overturn a lower court judge’s ruling on family law matters.
Appealing a family law matter is something that is best handled by an attorney as the brief will need to include case details and pertinent case law spelling out why the matter should be reexamined.
Even if well written, not every case will be heard by a higher court. If it is, then each side in the matter will be given a limited amount of time to say where they stand.
You likely won’t be able to introduce new evidence when oral arguments are made. Instead, judges will consider what’s already on record from lower court hearings when making a decision. Once an appellate judge makes a ruling, there’s little chance of you being able to appeal it.
Some of the more common issues that couples request modifications of a divorce order for include visitation schedules, alimony, child custody and support. It can be helpful to have an experienced Trenton family law and divorce attorney to protect your interests in such instances.