Maryville Post-Divorce Modification Lawyers
Legal help with modifying divorce agreements in Blount County & East Tennessee
After your divorce is finalized, whether or not you’re happy with the settlement, you and your spouse are bound by law to follow the terms of your divorce agreement. After you part ways, however, life goes on and often your circumstances change. Your child’s needs may change, you may suffer a health crisis, your ex-spouse may get laid off from their job – as we’ve all learned, we can never expect what might happen.
Sometimes these changes in circumstances may be serious enough to warrant a change in your divorce agreement. For example, if the parent paying child support suddenly experiences a drastic change in income, the original child support award may need to be adjusted. The court calls this “order modification” or “modifying your divorce decree.”
The Maryville divorce attorneys at Shepherd & Long, P.C. provide knowledgeable help with modification of divorce agreements. Whether you need to file for modification of child support, alimony, custody, or other family law order, our team provides the information and advocacy you need. Contact us today.
Why would I need a Tennessee post-divorce order modification?
One of the most common reasons people ask to modify their divorce decree is to adjust the amount of their child support. You can be either the payor or the payee. Let’s look at an example. Say you are the person paying child support and your company temporarily cuts your pay. This may necessitate a change in the amount of support you’re able to pay – Tennessee requires a 15% or more (7.5% for low-income) change in income to file for a modification.
Our Maryville family law attorneys can help you determine whether a change in circumstances on the part of either ex-spouse makes you eligible for a divorce order modification. We can also help you defend your agreement if your ex-spouse or child’s other parent is attempting to make unreasonable changes.
Common reasons to modify an East Tennessee divorce agreement
Modifying a divorce decree requires proving a substantial change of circumstances. Following are the most common reasons our clients come to us for order modifications.
The court may change an alimony agreement for several reasons – if either party’s income significantly changes, if costs of living change, if the party receiving alimony begins living with someone else, or other changes in circumstances.
Child custody orders may be modified in the event of repeated order violations, neglect, mistreatment or child abuse, or some cases where the child strongly prefers to live with the other parent.
The court may modify a child support order when the income of the non-custodial parent changes, the child’s expenses change, or one parent becomes disabled or ill.
Moving and relocation
If one parent wants to move more than 50 miles away from the other parent without their consent, they must bring this request before the court, who can grant or deny the order modification.
As a child gets older and their life becomes more complicated, it might become more difficult to stick to your original co-parenting schedule. In other cases, a parent may intentionally deny the other parent their court-ordered visitation time. In cases like these, modifying the visitation schedule might be the best way for both parents to maintain their relationship with their child.
What can I do if my ex-spouse won’t follow our divorce agreement?
A divorce agreement is a court order, which means if one party can’t or won’t follow it, the other party may use legal action to enforce it. In some cases, your attorney and your ex-spouse’s attorney can work things out without having to go to court. In other cases, you and your attorney may need to file a petition for contempt of court in order to have your ex comply with the divorce decree. Common order enforcement issues include failure to pay child support, failure to allow visitation, or failure to pay alimony. The lawyers at Shepherd & Long can work with you to ensure your divorce agreement is followed to the letter.
Can I modify my TN child custody agreement if my ex wants to take my child out of state?
One of the most difficult issues for co-parents is when one parent wants to relocate. Child custody and visitation issues must be re-visited, and moving children out of town or out of state can cause disputes between the custodial and non-custodial parent. Any modification of your custody agreement must take into consideration the meaningful relationship between parent and child.
If my spouse hid assets during our divorce, can I get those back with an order modification?
You may find, at some point after your divorce, that your spouse failed to disclose certain assets during the divorce. Or, perhaps you were supposed to receive money from the sale of your family home, and your ex failed to pay you those proceeds. They may have done this intentionally or unintentionally, but the bottom line is that some assets failed to make it into the property division process. If you feel an important asset was left out during the divorce process, you may be able to re-open your divorce by filing a post-judgement action. Typically, there are time limits on these actions, but our Maryville divorce attorneys can determine whether you have the evidence to assert a claim.
What happens during an order modification hearing in Tennessee?
Many of our clients come to us scared or frustrated. They are especially wary of the court hearing. The Maryville order modification attorneys at Shepherd & Long are here to ease your fears and walk you through the process. The hearing typically proceeds like this:
- You and your attorney file an order modification request.
- Both parties provide official documentation (depending on the modification request, this can be financial affidavits, custody agreements, or other documents).
- The judge reviews all the information and evidence provided and makes a decision guided by Tennessee law.
- The request is approved or denied, and the judge’s decision is binding.
Our family law attorneys dedicate themselves to defending your best interests and those of your children. We provide you with all the information you need to make the right decision about your divorce and child custody agreements. We always work for out-of-court solutions, but we are not afraid to litigate when necessary to protect your rights.
Dedicated Maryville post-divorce modification attorneys
If you need help with modification of a court order, the attorneys at Shepherd & Long, P.C. will advocate for you and your family. We provide the answers and support you need, helping you work toward a successful outcome. For more information, or to schedule a consultation, call us at 865-982-8060 or fill out our contact form. We regularly represent clients in Madisonville, Oak Ridge, Lenoir City and throughout East Tennessee.