Divorce Modification Lawyers in Montgomery
Uncontested Divorce Modifications Starting at $600
Divorce Modification Retainers Starting at $2000
Call us today at (334) 782-9938
When you got divorced, the judge issued a final decree that laid out the terms. As circumstances change, you may want to ask the court to modify or adjust some of the terms. To do that, you will need to retain divorce modification lawyer in Montgomery or where your case was originally filed to file a Petition to Modify that decree.
Your divorce decree is a court order that is a legally binding agreement (if there was a settlement agreement entered) between you and your ex-spouse or an Order by the judge if the Court ultimately made the decision for you. In order for the court to modify the terms of that decree, especially if you ex-spouse is not agreeable with the change, your divorce modification lawyer will need to demonstrate to the Court that a significant event in your life has occurred that would justify the modification.
If you had an uncontested divorce and you want to amend your Settlement Agreement, and both you and your ex-spouse agree on the changes, it can be an easier process than if one of you does not agree with the change. Our custody and child support lawyer in Montgomery currently charges a flat fee of $600 to prepare and file your modification if by agreement. There is usually no court and you don’t have to come into the office to do this uncontested divorce modification in Montgomery County since it is mostly paperwork.
If you want to modify your prior decree and your ex-spouse is not in agreement, then you will need to file a contested divorce modification. When the divorce modification lawyer in Montgomery County files your petition for modification with no agreement, the judge will set it for a hearing. At the hearing, your divorce modification lawyer will present your case and your ex-spouse will argue against it and the judge will ultimately decide. Witnesses can be called at this hearing and other evidence produced. It can be quite expensive to litigate such an issue.
Our divorce modification lawyers in Montgomery County currently require something called a retainer up front to file this type of case. A retainer is an amount of money you pay the attorney and we bill hourly out of it as work is performed. Our divorce modification attorney in Montgomery currently requires an up front retainer of at least $2000 or more, depending on the circumstances of your case and how much time they expect to spend on your divorce modification petition. There is also a filing fee to file such a petition. In Montgomery county, the filing fee for modification begins at $297.00. Other filing fees for other petitions are listed on the court’s website.
When you retain us, our divorce modification lawyer in Montgomery will file a Petition to Modify your divorce decree in the county where the original decree was issued. If your divorce took place in Montgomery county, we would file your petition in the Domestic Relations division of the Montgomery County Circuit Court. By law, the clerks are not allowed to give legal advice; they will advise you to consult with an attorney if you have questions about the process or how to prepare any paperwork. That is why it is important to retain a local divorce modification lawyer in Montgomery to ensure it is filed and argued to the Court properly.
Divorce Modifications in Montgomery County
One of the most common requests for modification involve alimony payments. According to Alabama law, the judge must find there has been a material change in circumstances of one or both parties. A material change is anything the judge finds relevant or wants to consider. Some of the most common changes are changes in employment, a change in the financial circumstances of the parties, remarriage, an event that significantly affects (increases or decreases) the ability to pay alimony, significant changes in health, age, ability of a party to earn a living, and how much time has passed between the initial alimony award and the request for modification.
Another common request for modification is related to child custody. Per Alabama law, the courts use a “best interest of the child” standard in determining the original custody case. If you are the non-custodial parent and you are asking the court for custody, you will have to demonstrate that a material change in your circumstances has taken place in your life since the custody decision was made, that the child’s best interests will be promoted by you having or also having custody of the child, and that any changes that result in the child’s life will be better than the disruption the change would cause. Those three elements are a paraphrased list of the McLendon Standard the court must use to evaluate whether to grant the non-custodial parent’s request for custody.
Courts are generally very hesitant to alter custody arrangements out of concern for promoting stability in the child’s life. The judge would have to be convinced any change in custody, and the changes in the child’s life that would come with that, would on the whole be better for the child than leaving the custody arrangement as it is. The court can look at essentially any element of your life it wants to if the court deems it relevant in making a custody decision.
Almost all of the terms of your divorce can be modified, except the division of property. That must be followed as determined in the original divorce decree. If your ex-spouse is not keeping up their end of the terms, you can petition the court to compel your ex-spouse to follow the order. While you don’t legally have to have a divorce modification lawyer in Montgomery to modify your divorce, hiring an experienced family law attorney can help ensure you are submitting the correct paperwork, that it is filled out correctly, and that your case is properly advocated and argued for at your hearing. Call our divorce modification lawyers in Montgomery County today for a free consultation over the phone, in person, or by remote video.
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