Modify Your Utah Divorce Decree
There are some situations where it becomes necessary to modify your Utah Decree of Divorce. Maybe you got an out-of-state job offer and custody/visitation needs to be amended. Perhaps you or your ex got a large increase or decrease in salary and child support/alimony needs to be modified. In Utah, in order to get your Divorce Decree modified you must show that there has been a significant change in circumstances that warrant the modification. Generally the court requires that income increase or decrease at least 10% before the it will allow a modification as to domestic support. Moving out-of-state is generally considered a significant change in circumstances, and if custody/visitation is going to be affected then the court can make a determination as to whether the change is necessary, etc. Pearson Law Firm can provide you with an experienced Utah Divorce Attorney to help you in this regard.
The standard to modify a Utah divorce decree is more stringent than are the standards to get the initial decree of divorce. That's why it's important to get it right the first time. Certainly things come up that you can't anticipate, and that is why a modification is available, but the more you can anticipate in the original decree, the better off you'll be.
Why is it more difficult to get a modification than the original decree?
Courts do not want parties to come running back to court because they "changed their mind". Lets say you agreed to parent-time of two days a week, but after the Utah divorce decree is signed you decide you want to see your children more. This would not be considered a significant change in circumstances and the court would typically not order a change. On the other hand, lets say you originally agreed to two days a week but now you're moving out of state and two days a week is simply no longer feasible. This would likely be deemed a significant change in circumstances and the court would be more likely to modify the Utah divorce decree.
Another big difference between the initial Utah divorce process and modification is temporary orders. Temporary Orders are temporary rules that the court imposes in order to regulate the parties until a matter is decided. In a Utah divorce action the temporary orders are generally issued within the first month of the process. In a modification, it is very difficult to obtain temporary orders that differ from the orders put in place through the Utah divorce decree. The standard is such that you have to prove immediate or irreparable harm if the modification is not imposed immediately, before the court will circumvent the original decree and issue temporary orders. So basically, throughout the modification process the Utah divorce decree will govern, and only when the modification is granted will anything change. This means that if you move out of state and logistically can't see your children twice a week, you'll just have to suffer through it until the Modification is resolved through settlement or even at trial.
Pearson Law Firm can provide an experienced Utah Divorce Attorney that will help you navigate this process. Also, this is all the more reason to get an experienced family law attorney for your original Utah divorce. Long distances moves and increase/decrease in salary can be anticipated by your attorney, and he'll insure that your Utah divorce decree will have language accounting for these possibilities, limiting the changes that you'll need to modify your Utah divorce decree down the road.
Call Pearson Law Firm to set up a free consultation with an experienced Utah Divorce Attorney today! 801-888-0991.
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Pearson Law Firm, PLLC
9192 South 300 West,
Sandy, Utah 84070