Post-Divorce Modifications Lawyer in Portland
Compassionate & Dedicated Attorneys Serving Oregon Families
The Portland modification lawyers at Pacific Cascade Family Law, represent individuals facing marriage dissolution and other family law issues in Oregon. As time passes, your family's needs and resources will change. Perhaps the agreements made during a divorce no longer address the needs and schedules of the children. Maybe a change in employment has significantly altered a parent's income.
If that's the case, a post-decree modification might be in order for you. The team at Pacific Cascade Family Law can help you with this process.
If you need help modifying your divorce orders, call Pacific Cascade Family Law at (503) 573-5566 for a consultation.
How Are Divorce Orders Modified?
Regardless of the reasons, most modifications to a court order are a simple process when both parties agree. However, if an agreement cannot be reached or if there are concerns about the welfare of the children, then it becomes more complicated to modify court orders.
The process for various issues may look like this:
- Child custody - If both parents agree to the change, this is a relatively quick and painless process. However, legally disputing custody is complicated. The court will change a custody ruling only if a substantial change in circumstances in the custodial parent's ability to care for the child.
- Joint custody - A common misconception about joint custody is the idea that a judge can order the arrangement. In Oregon, this is not an option. Joint custody can only be negotiated outside of court. If both parties agreed to joint custody and there has been a change in circumstance, then it is possible to revisit the custody arrangements and argue for sole custody.
- Parenting time - Parenting time is modified according to the best interests of the child. However, this is one court order that is expected to change over time. The process is straightforward when both parties agree. If there is a dispute, then it will require presenting an argument and evidence before the court.
- Spousal support - Modifications to spousal support are considered only when a significant and unanticipated change in finances has occurred.
- Child support - Child support may be modified either through the Child Support Program directly or through a court process. There are reasons to use one process over the other. Our attorneys can help you through either process if a change in your financial situation has occurred such that your child support should increase or decrease.
We are prepared to provide clear and direct legal counsel about the most effective and efficient ways to meet your goals. If both parties agree to the modifications, our team can handle all of the necessary documentation. If necessary, we can also represent your best interests in court.
Reasons To Modify Your Divorce Agreement
Below we have detailed five common situations that often require divorced spouses to seek out a modification to their divorce agreement.
- Spousal support or child support payments from your former spouse are no longer enough
There are a number of situations where the original terms that were decided in your divorce with regard to alimony or child support are no longer enough to cover necessary expenses. Perhaps you were in an accident and are no longer able to work. Perhaps you were laid off through no fault of your own. Whatever the case, life changes may dictate that you need to receive more, or possibly even less spousal or child support, which would require a modification.
- You can no longer afford to make payments required of you
Conversely, if you are paying child or spousal support and there are drastic changes to your income, you may need to obtain a modification in order to pay less spousal or child support. As the party required to pay such support, you are at much greater risk than the party who receives the support payments if you attempt to change anything about your payments without obtaining a modification. You could face serious legal action for nonpayment of child or spousal support. Because of this, if something occurs that makes it so that you can no longer afford the payments, you need to pursue a modification to your agreement.
- You want or need to move a significant distance away
Your ability to move to a new residence that is a significant distance away from a former spouse who shares custody of your children is greatly affected by your child custody agreement. But what if you are offered a dream job opportunity in another state, or you want to move closer to your aging parents in another state in order to care for them? Relocations are a type of modification that will usually involve changes to your parenting plan and child custody agreement. You could find yourself facing charges as serious as kidnapping if you attempt to relocate with your child without modifying your original divorce terms.
- Child going to college
Did your original agreement make specific plans for how you would provide for a child’s college education? Often, this provision is left out of divorce agreements, especially if the children are very young at the time. However, college is very expensive and you will likely need to modify your agreement to negotiate how much each parent will provide towards the child’s college education.
- Change of heart
Often, couples get caught up in the emotions of a divorce and fight for extreme measures such as obtaining sole custody of children. After time passes, you may decide that you want the other parent to play a role in the child’s life. A change of heart from your original goals or intentions in settling the terms of your divorce may require that you seek a modification which will reflect your new opinion.
Call Our Experienced Portland Modification Attorneys
Most major life changes for you, your former spouse, or your children will have a profound impact on your original divorce agreement, often requiring a legal modification to update the terms. If you are interested in pursuing a divorce agreement modification through any method, please contact Pacific Cascade Law to discuss your situation and let us advise you on the best course of action. Our office is conveniently located 10 minutes from downtown Portland, Oregon. We represent clients throughout Oregon.
Call Pacific Cascade Family Law, at (503) 573-5566 to arrange a consultation with our experienced Portland post-divorce modification law firm, or use our online form.
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