Modifying And Enforcing The Terms Of Divorce Decrees
The final decree of divorce is never really final. As time goes by, the life circumstances of each spouse change, as do the needs of growing children when children are involved. A divorce decree cannot predict life-changing events such as job changes, new marriages or unexpected health issues of a parent or child. Like other states, Tennessee law allows for modifications and provides a legal process for taking action against spouses who fail to honor their obligations.
Accommodating Life Changes Through Modification
Any number of changes can spark the need to modify the terms of your divorce. To get the court to agree to your requested change, you must provide documentation that proves the circumstances surrounding your divorce decree have changed. Common reasons people seek modifications include:
- Loss of a job
- Significant increase or decrease in income
- Relocating to a new town
- Allegations of abuse or troublesome lifestyle changes
- Changes in the needs of aging children
It’s important to get a court-ordered modification rather than to make an informal agreement with your ex-spouse. A simple agreement is not enforceable – if your spouse decides not to follow the terms of your new agreement, you have no legal recourse.
Enforcing The Terms Of Your Divorce Decree
When an ex-spouse fails to follow the terms of your divorce agreement, we can represent you in court to make sure they live up to their obligations. A divorce decree is a legally binding document. If your spouse fails to fulfill their obligations as outlined in the divorce decree, they can be found in contempt of court. If your spouse is found in contempt, most divorce decrees require them to pay your legal fees.
Navigating Adoption-Related Modifications
We also work with families with post-adoption contact agreements in need of an enforcement or modification. Should you find that an adjustment to the original agreement is in the best interest of the child, we can help you petition the court for one.