Practice Areas

Post-Decree Modifications

A divorce or the end of a non-marital relationship is a significant change, but additional changes continue to occur in the years that follow. People get new jobs, get promoted or get remarried. Minor children, meanwhile, may have increased medical needs or extracurricular activities that require additional financial support.

Life changes often create the need to modify existing orders regarding custody, parenting plans, child support or spousal support. The Waldrop Firm, P.C., in Germantown, helps individuals in Tennessee and Mississippi pursue or defend against post-judgment modifications.

Reasons For Modifying Existing Orders

In order to modify custody in both Tennessee and Mississippi, a parent must prove there has been a change of circumstances that materially alters the child's well-being and that a modification will serve the child's best interest. Examples include a parent who does not provide proper medical care for a child, is not adequately monitoring the child's educational needs or is aggressively attempting to negatively influence the child's relationship with the other parent (often referred to as "parental alienation").

Many requests for modification to existing orders result from a parent's desire to relocate. We can assist with or defend against a petition to relocate with a child.

It is easier to modify an existing parenting plan (sometimes called visitation), but meditation is required if the parties cannot agree. Changes to parenting plans can be made for a number of reasons, including to better suit a child's schedule or a parent's new work schedule.

It is important to consult with an experienced post-decree modifications lawyer to ensure changes are handled properly. Too often, parents make verbal agreements to changes between themselves and fail to complete the proper legal steps when changes are made. This can have negative consequences if one parent rescinds the informal agreement.

Modifying Child And Spousal Support

Modifications to child support may be warranted as a result of a child's increased needs, whether they are tied to medical needs, education or extracurricular activities. A modification may also be warranted if there is a significant and long-term increase or decrease in one parent's income or financial situation, or due to changes in custody or a parenting plan.

Tennessee requires a change of at least 15 percent in the obligation to pay support before a modification will be considered.

If a spousal support agreement is in place, modifying that agreement also requires showing a substantial and long-term change in financial circumstances. The change must be one that could not have been anticipated at the time of the divorce and creates a significant disparity between the parties' financial conditions.

Our experienced family law attorney can answer your questions regarding modifications to existing orders during a free 30-minute consultation. Call or use the contact form on this website to schedule a meeting. We represent clients in Shelby County and throughout southwest Tennessee and northeast Mississippi in all family law matters.