Divorce Modifications in New Haven
A common misconception some people have is that their divorce agreement cannot be changed after their divorce has been finalized. This is not true. If a court still has jurisdiction, a person may be able to make modifications to child support, alimony, and other aspects of the divorce agreement. When considering the option of fighting for a change in an agreement, having an experienced attorney by your side may make all the difference. They can advise you on whether or not the court still has jurisdiction over your case, and if not, what your other options are.
Even after a divorce has been granted, modifications to the divorce can still be made at any time after the divorce agreement, if the court still has jurisdiction. There is not a specific amount of time after the divorce agreement that a person needs to adhere to in order to make modifications.
After a divorce, child support is one aspect of an agreement that can always be modified, visitation can almost always be modified, and alimony, if the divorce agreement specifically allows for modification, can be modified, but the agreement needs to specifically permit that. Property division, once you enter an agreement, is over unless there was an instance of fraud or other certain factors. Property division can be modified, but it happens less often than alterations to child support and alimony.
Also, sometimes the court does not have jurisdiction and the reason for that is because once you enter an agreement and it becomes a judgment of the court, that is final. Without having that, nothing would ever be final and the courts would be more overburdened than they already are.
What to Expect From the Process
Often, first you have to demonstrate that the court has jurisdiction and, depending on what type of modification you are making, all the requirements should be prepared. That first step is incredibly important and can deeply affect how you approach the rest of your case. A lot of times, they do not have jurisdiction. If the court does not have jurisdiction, then you have to see if it falls in some of the other categories, for example, if a divorce decree or separation agreement was entered under the pretense of fraud, if financial disclosures were left out, and things of that nature, which can reestablish jurisdiction for the court. After that, you have to file a motion in the court and pay a $175.00 fee to do continue the process. It is not free.
Importance of Contacting a Divorce Attorney
You cannot just walk into court and file a modification. There are certain prerequisites and there are certain conditions that need to be met for there to be a modification.
First, you need to see if what you want to change is eligible for modification. There is a statutory right to modifying some things, but you also need to look at the original divorce agreement itself. If it permits modification, you have to file particular paperwork and if you do not do it correctly, your case will be dismissed.
Ways a Lawyer Can Help
In the separation agreement, there are some aspects that you cannot protect and that will be subject to modification. However, you can ensure that there are no instances of fraud and you can also write into a divorce agreement that the court no longer has jurisdiction on some of the issues.
You can specifically say that the divorce agreement in the court shall not retain jurisdiction. However, there are statutory rights implicated that permit the court to have jurisdiction, such as child support, visitation, and then also college expenses for the children.