After your divorce is finalized and as time moves on, you might decide that the terms spelled out in your divorce decree no longer work for you, your ex-spouse, or your children. Or, perhaps, you have never been 100% happy with the terms of your divorce. Thankfully, divorce decrees are not set in stone and can be modified.
Read more below to find out how divorce agreements can be changed.
Modifying Your Divorce Decree
Utah law states that if a substantial change in circumstances has occurred since the divorce decree was issued initially or since it was last altered, the decree can be modified. Here is a process overview for modifying your divorce decree.
STEP 1 — It is unlikely that you know your divorce decree forward and backward unless you read it regularly. Because modifying your decree is a tedious process, you likely will not want to do it often. So, make sure you read through your entire decree thoroughly to see if there is anything else you want to change. Write out everything you want to modify down to the page, paragraph number, and sentence. Write it out how you wish the paragraphs to read.
STEP 2 — If you want to change your divorce decree, you will need to put together a petition to modify. In your petition to modify, you will tell the court which sections in your divorce decree you wish to change, how you want them to change, and how circumstances have changed since it was signed that make a change necessary.
STEP 3 — Now, you will file your petition to modify with the clerks at the same courthouse where you were divorced.
STEP 4 — Next, you will serve your ex-spouse the petition to modify. Once completed, you will need to show proof of service to the court. Your ex will have 21 days (if in served in Utah) or 30 days (if served outside of Utah) to respond.
STEP 5 — This step varies depending on the outcome of Step 4:
- If your ex files an answer, both parties will need to provide initial disclosures and a Financial Declaration. This will lead to mediation and, if necessary, to trial to find an agreement.
- If your ex agrees with everything for which you are asking, you will file a stipulated petition.
- If your ex does not respond within the allotted time, you can ask for a default judgment.
Contact The Ault Firm
There are many uncertainties in life, but one thing we can always count on is change, and divorce is no exception. As time goes on, significant changes in your life occur, and what once worked in your divorce decree may no longer fit. If you find the current terms of your divorce no longer working for you, contact the knowledgeable professionals at The Ault Firm. You can trust our legal team to work diligently to find a solution that works for your current and future situation and guide you through this process. Contact The Ault Firm today if you require a modification attorney and are in the Salt Lake City area.