Once a divorce is final, the terms must be adhered to by both parties. However, if life, health, or financial circumstances change, one party can request a modification to the agreement, known as a post-decree.

A post-decree modification involves a request to change terms such as child support, parenting time, visitation rights, or spousal support.

In addition to altering the agreement due to life changes, a post-decree can also be sought to enforce them if one parent is not fulfilling their obligation and has broken the court order. This violation is known as a breach of contract. Late payments, refusal to pay, and other acts qualify as a breach.

When this happens, you must have an attorney that can act swiftly and decisively to protect you and your child.

Post-decrees should only be pursued when necessary. Divorce litigation can be expensive and unpleasant. However, if extreme circumstances prevail that alter one party’s ability to support themselves or their child, the agreement should be revisited.

Circumstances that Qualify for a Post-Decree in Denver, CO

Any change has to be done legally in court. While being amicable and taking the other party’s word at face value is a pleasant idea, in theory, but it’s not enforceable without a court order. A friendly conversation over dinner or during a drop-off can lead one party to make a concession that he or she didn’t intend or think all the way through.

These verbal agreements can’t be enforced and make the situation even worse.

The following circumstances may qualify for a post-decree modification:

  • A gain or loss of employment
  • Losing benefits or health insurance
  • Relocation out of the city, state, or country
  • A serious health condition or medical emergency
  • New circumstances requiring additional financial support (either for you or your child)
  • A failure to disclose relevant information, including assets
  • Getting remarried
  • The child is emancipated or there’s another situation in which support is no longer necessary

Your circumstances don’t have to be dramatically life-altering to potentially necessitate a post-decree modification. For example, let’s say you got a job offer for a company based in Colorado Springs. Unfortunately, the company headquarters is 60+ miles away from your current residence. If you move, your child is going to have to change schools. The long drive might make the current visitation schedule unsustainable. Now what?

Before you say no to the job or take the job and relocate, you can explore modifying the terms of your decree to find a solution that works for all parties.

Protecting the Best Interest of the Child

Another situation that is grounds for a post-decree is regarding the fitness of a parent. In the original proceedings, one of the parents might have been judged as unable to have any decision-making authority. If that parent has made improvements that now make them eligible, then the original terms of the child custody and support agreement can be modified.

Conversely, if one parent is facing new allegations of neglect or abuse, then new modifications may also be sought to protect the child.

To determine if you have grounds for a post-decree modification or to discuss the details of your case, please contact the Law Offices of Brian S. Popp for a free consultation.