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Salt Lake City Post-Judgement Modifications Lawyer

Divorce agreements are intended to dispose of most issues definitively, without the need to return to the question later on. However, there are exceptions, including family questions that are all but expected to be modified at later dates.

Some of the most common include child support amounts and visitation schedules, but there are many different aspects of a divorce that may require post-judgment modification. That is why you should contact your experienced Salt Lake City Post-Judgement Modifications Lawyer today.

Support-Related Modifications

The most common post-divorce modifications sought generally have to do with support, either for children or for a spouse (also known as alimony). Utah law requires that both parents support their children if possible, as most states do, and propagates child support guidelines that are generally adhered to. At the time a divorce decree is entered, support is estimated based on a host of different factors, including:

  • the parent’s current and future earning potential
  • the child’s needs
  • the financial position of each spouse

Alimony or spousal support is determined the same way. However, as one might imagine, things change. One spouse might gain or lose a job, relocate, or encounter hardship. Retirement is also a reason to seek modification of alimony.

If the spouse who receives alimony remarries, then it should automatically terminate. However, you can also seek termination if your ex is now living with someone else in a romantic relationship. This is called cohabitation. You can’t automatically stop paying, but you should meet with an attorney to talk about how to flag this issue for a judge. You will want to include evidence of cohabitation in your court papers when asking for termination. You must file your motion to terminate within one year of finding out your ex is living with someone, so do not delay.

You can also request modification when the financial landscape changes. Any number of events might transpire that might result in a change in financial circumstances. When there has been a substantial change in circumstances, or if more than three years have elapsed since the original order was entered modifying a child support order, a modification can be made. The court will consider the same factors it did in its first determination to see whether the change in circumstances has been significant enough.

Custody & Parenting Time

The other common motive for wanting to modify a divorce decree is wanting an increase or decrease in visitation and parenting time. Utah divides custody of children into legal and physical, which can make a modification quite complex if not handled properly. Legal custody is essentially the right that allows both parents, if they share it, to make decisions about their children.

It is possible to have sole physical custody and share legal custody, or the reverse, or any mix thereof. Making a change to child custody or parenting time arrangements requires that there has been a substantial change in circumstances, as with support-related modifications, but there is an added wrinkle; the best interests of the child must be taken into account.

Only certain changes in circumstance will support a modification of custody. Every situation is different, but some circumstances include:

  • The custodial parent remarries, and the child’s relationship to that parent changes substantially.
  • Your child is now endangered in their home environment, such as the presence of a dangerous criminal in the home.
  • The other parent no longer practices the same religion.
  • The other parent wants to move further away for career opportunities or personal reasons.
  • Your child has educational or medical needs that are better served living with you for more of the year.
  • Your child is 14 and wishes to change their living situation.

If modification would improve the parents’ situation, but not the child’s, it will not be enacted. It also means that child support may be modified simply because visitation time will change. Let us think through how a modification will impact you moving forward.

Are You Seeking a Modification?

Anyone hoping to modify a court order should meet with an experienced lawyer at CoilLaw. There are certain steps to take—and steps to avoid.

For example, if you seek to modify child support, you should continue to pay until a court modifies the order. The worst step is to simply stop paying. Any unpaid support will simply pile up and likely accrue interest. You are now in worse financial shape than before. You can only stop or reduce what you pay when you receive permission.

Also, try to document the change in circumstances. As an example, you might no longer work because you are disabled. Your attorney can present medical evidence to a judge to show your disability is real and you are unlikely to return to work any time soon. Judges want to see proof of whatever you allege in court papers.

Sometimes, it’s possible to reach an agreement with your ex on a modification. We might even propose mediation, which can make the process easier. We can negotiate with your spouse’s attorney to reach an agreement and then submit the modification to a judge for approval.

Parental Relocation after Divorce

One issue that crops up regularly is if a parent can move after divorce. If you and your ex didn’t have children, then there would be no problem. But it’s the presence of minor children that makes this a divisive issue. Often, one parent wants to move a substantial distance, either to start a new relationship, move back in with family, or pursue career opportunities. Any move can upend the child’s relationship with the other parent. A child that was a half hour away might be 15 hours away.

Utah law requires the custodial parents to take certain steps if they intend to move out of state or at least 150 miles away. Specifically, they must provide written notice to the other parent and the court at least 60 days before the move. You can’t drop off the notice and rent a U-Haul, because the law gives the other parent a right to object.

The other parent has a maximum of 30 days to object, whereupon the court should schedule a hearing. Ultimately, a judge will need to decide if the move is in the child’s best interests. If not, the court might modify child custody.

This is a high-stakes legal dispute. Judges have discretion in whether they give the green light or not. Many parents who hope to move are unaware that they could now be jeopardizing custody. No one should expect a judge to rubberstamp a proposed move, even if you think you have solid reasons.

At the hearing, each side will present evidence. The parent hoping to move should be prepared to show how the move is in their child’s best interest. The parent opposing the move should show why the status quo is better. A judge can modify a visitation schedule to encourage continued contact between parents and children.

CoilLaw can help either parent in this type of dispute. Maybe you are seeking court permission to move. We can help with that. Utah judges aren’t too interested in what’s in the best interests of the mother or father. We can help show how the move benefits your child.

Or maybe you are trying to block your ex from moving. We can also serve as your voice in the process.

Read Our Divorce Guide

Divorce is a mystery to many. At CoilLaw, we believe in empowering clients to make sensible choices grounded in facts. We have created a guide for divorce in Utah. This guide covers all the basics and can answer many questions that you have about the build-up to divorce, as well as the court process, including post-judgment issues.

Why CoilLaw is the Right Firm for You

Post-judgment modification is a detailed process, and men and women in Salt Lake City should hire a law firm that appreciates their needs. At CoilLaw, we offer timely advice to clients hoping to change the terms of their divorce decree. Unfortunately, negative feelings between spouses continue long after the divorce, and an amicable agreement is simply impossible in many cases.

Call our law firm to speak with a member of our team. Our Salt Lake City post-judgment modification lawyers have unparalleled skill and experience in family law issues. Our firm brings together:

  • Lawyers and paraprofessionals from diverse backgrounds, all of whom offer unique perspectives on family law issues.
  • Committed legal advocates who use the law to benefit their clients.
  • Compassionate listeners who understand the stress family law disputes bring to people.

Need Help With A Post-Judgement Modification In Salt Lake City? Contact CoilLaw!

If you need post-judgment modification help, your best bet is to contact an experienced attorney. Jill L. Coil and the family law attorneys at CoilLaw, LLC have years of experience in post-modification judgment cases and are happy to help you with any questions that you may have.

Modifying a divorce decree does not have to be a difficult endeavor, especially not with a qualified legal professional on your side. Contact us today at (801) 884-3775 or complete our web form to schedule an appointment.


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