Modifications Lawyers in Alabama
Following a divorce, it is not uncommon for one or both parties to face a substantial change in circumstances that warrants a post-divorce modification. Issues related to child custody, parenting rights, and alimony can be presented to the trial court for review through a post-divorce civil proceeding generally known as a petition to modify. Making modifications to existing orders and agreements can be a complex issue.
If you are seeking a modification or if you have been notified that your former spouse is seeking a change, contact Dothan Law Group to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable modification lawyer about the likelihood of success in a post-divorce modification.
Modifying Domestic Agreements
A substantial change in circumstances may necessitate the modification of a divorce decree. Alabama allows these modifications to occur regardless of whether the original terms were by court order or via mutual agreement. Most divorce modifications relate to the rearing of children. Domestic abuse, addiction, and legal issues can result in changes to visitation and custody decrees. In addition, the regulations to the following could be issued:
- How much media your child experiences
- Your (the parent’s) drinking or smoking habit
- The individuals who are authorized to be around the child, particularly those who are allowed to sleep over
A post-divorce modification of a court order requires going back to court and proving the facts that justify the change. If you are hoping to modify a divorce decree, it is important to secure an experienced attorney at Dothan Law Group.
Modifications to Alimony
If your settlement agreement or alimony order does not address the issue of when alimony can be modified, then either spouse is free to ask for a change to alimony by filing a request with the court. In order to convince a judge to reduce or terminate alimony, the paying spouse must demonstrate a significant change in the financial circumstances of one or both spouses, such as:
- The involuntary loss of a job or wage reduction
- An illness or disability that prevents the paying spouse from working
- The supported spouse has remarried or is cohabiting with a new partner, or
- The supported spouse has experienced an increase in income.
Modifying Orders Related To Children
Apart from modification of divorce orders, our office can also help with enforcement of court orders regarding custody and support. If the circumstances of either parent change, a child custody and support order could be modified to reflect those changes as well.
Modification of Child Support
In order to modify a child support order, one must demonstrate overwhelming evidence of a change in circumstance that convinces the court to change an order because the paying party can no longer afford the obligation or the receiving party can no longer afford the cost of caring for the child under the financial structure of the order. Alabama courts will only agree to modify child support orders if there is a “material change” in circumstances. The instances in which this might occur include:
- The parent paying child support is spending substantially more time with the children
- A parent has a substantial change in income
- There is a significant financial hardship of the parent paying support
- There is a change in the cost of living in the area
Child Custody Modifications
In Alabama you have the ability to modify custody under certain circumstances. Any kind of modification to child custody is available when material conditions exist which substantially affect the child’s interests and welfare. The standard requires that the parent who is seeking a modification or change in custody must show proof of the following:
- That a material change in circumstances has occurred since the initial or previous judgment regarding custody in the case;
- That the child’s best interest will be promoted materially by a change in custody; and
- That the benefits of the custody change will more than balance the intrinsic disruptive effects which may result from a change in custody.
Visitation can also be modified when requested in the context of a child custody modification proceeding, or the court can modify visitation on its own motion.
If the post-divorce modification is important enough to pursue, it is important enough to procure the services of a family law attorney at Dothan Law Group with the relevant background and mastery of the issue. The lawyers at Dothan Law Group understand how to request a modification as well as how to defend against one. We can review your case, create an effective and personalized legal strategy, and guide you through the complexities of the legal process.