Divorce Decree Modification Compassion, Strength & Planning in Times of Personal Crisis

Minneapolis Post-Divorce Modification Lawyers

It is not uncommon for a couple to continue to have disagreements after their divorce has been finalized. In the event they cannot reach an amicable resolution on their own, a post-divorce decree modification may be a couple’s next best option. Post-divorce decree modifications can take place if circumstances have changed and the terms of the divorce are now unfair, or do not fit the family’s needs anymore.

You can modify the following orders after a divorce has finalized:

Any property that was divided during the divorce is final and cannot be modified – except under extraordinary circumstances, such as fraud, which is under the judge’s discretion.

How to Modify a Divorce Decree

To modify a part of a divorce decree, you must show that there has been a change of circumstances that renders the current judgement and decree unjust. In the event of a child custody or parenting time modification, you would need to show that such a modification would be in the best interests of the child.

The typical divorce modification process goes as follows:

  • Ensure that a change in circumstances has occurred
  • Seek the services of an experienced lawyer
  • Provide a clear statement on what you would like amended and why
  • Complete the legal paperwork
  • File the motion paperwork with the court and serve your ex-spouse
  • Go to court on your court date

Reasons for Modification

An individual seeking to modify a divorce decree must show a substantial and continuing change of circumstances.

These circumstances may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Change in income
  • Relocation
  • Unfit parent behavior around the child(ren)

Child Custody Modification

In Minnesota, a judge will not modify physical custody unless doing so would be in the best interests of the child.

Additionally, even if doing so meet this requirement, courts in the state cannot order a change of custody unless one of the following occurs:

  • Both parents agree to the modification
  • Custodial parent consents to the change
  • Child’s present environment has put him/her in imminent danger that could negatively impact the child’s emotional development

To change custody based on endangerment, there must be strong evidence in favor of this modification. This may include physical, sexual, or emotional abuse by the custodial parent. Additional evidence may include neglect, poor discipline, and/or the child’s desire to live with the non-custodial parent.

Parenting Time Modification

To change your parenting time schedule, you will need to show how this change serves to fulfill the best interests of your child standard.

Under Minnesota law, a judge will consider the following relevant factors:

  • Child’s physical, emotional, mental, cultural, spiritual, and other needs
  • Reasonable preferences of the child
  • Any history of domestic abuse
  • History and nature of each parent’s participation in providing for the child
  • Willingness and ability of each parent to provide ongoing care for the child
  • Effect on the child’s well-being and development of changes to home, school, and community

The court will also consider any other information and factors it deems appropriate.

Spousal Support Modification

Minnesota courts will allow spousal support payments to be modified if the circumstances that existed when the order was formed changed, making the order unfair to one or both parties. You may be able to modify a spousal support order in the following circumstances:

  • New evidence affects your case
  • Spouse committed fraud (for example, he/she intentionally hid assets)
  • Major life or health change (for example, remarriage)

Secure an Initial Consultation with Our Firm

At Mack & Santana Law Offices, P.C., we have represented clients in Minneapolis and surrounding areas for over 25 years. Committed to helping people improve their lives through compassionate legal counsel, we are here to provide you with the guidance and support you need as you navigate the post-divorce modification process.

Fill out a contact form online or call our office at (612) 712-3890 to learn more about our post-divorce decree modification services.