Experienced Seattle Post-Divorce Modification Attorney in Washington
After finalizing a divorce, most people usually hope to move on to the next phase of their lives. However, life happens, and circumstances change. For this reason, it may be necessary to modify specific terms of a divorce. This is what is usually referred to as a post-divorce modification. If you’re going through a similar situation, you may need to contact an experienced Seattle post-divorce modification attorney from Zafiro Law.
When Do You Need Post-Divorce Modification?
The truth is, not every divorce-related issue deserves modification. Working with a seasoned Seattle post-divorce modification attorney can help you understand what to modify and how to go about the entire process.
Here are some examples of divorce-related issues you can’t modify.
Most courts in Washington won’t change decisions regarding the division of community property, even if one party feels that the court’s decision is unfair. However, they may be able to convince the court to reconsider their decision if it is established that their ex-spouse intentionally hid certain marital assets from them.
One spouse may also request the court modify the terms of the divorce if they can prove that the other party misled the court when evaluating the value of the marital property. For example, if the ex-spouses owned a joint business and one spouse lied to the court about the value of the business to avoid splitting it equally with the other spouse, this could be enough reason for the court to reevaluate the terms of the divorce.
Remember, Washington is a community property state, meaning that if you and your spouse decide to part ways, you’ll be required to fairly and equitably divide marital property between yourselves. Marital property is any property acquired during the duration of the marriage. It includes businesses, houses, cars, retirement accounts, etc.
Things You Can Change In a Post-Divorce Modification
In Washington, you can request the court modify any of the following elements of a divorce decree:
Your life as a parent might change significantly after a divorce. As a result, you can request the judge to modify certain aspects of the parenting plan. However, Washington courts are usually strict on what can or can’t be changed regarding Parenting Plans.
For example, to convince the court to modify the custody order in Washington, you must prove that:
- There has been a substantial change in circumstances
- The requested change is in the child’s best interests
Here are examples of some common reasons for requesting a post-divorce modification.
Physical relocation: If the custodial parents move, the noncustodial parent can request a modification. This request may be necessary if the move would burden the noncustodial parent, making it difficult for the current custodial schedule to work or if the move will significantly affect the child’s life.
Refusal to follow custody terms: You can request a modification if the other parent fails to honor their part of the agreement. For example, if they don’t return your child to you on time every week.
Change in child’s needs: One or both parents can request a modification if the child’s needs have significantly changed. For example, suppose the child is diagnosed with a particular health condition. In that case, one parent might be better placed to take care of them, which is a reasonable ground for post-divorce modification.
Change in parent’s situation: Like children, the parent’s situation can also change, warranting the need for modification. Examples of such changes include a noncustodial parent securing a steady job, recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, etc.
Child exposed to dangerous environments: one parent can request a modification if the child has suffered physical, emotional, sexual, verbal, or psychological abuse from the other parent. The same applies if one parent exhibits serious mental health concerns or exposes the child to environments that significantly increase the risk of abuse, including drug and alcohol addiction.
One parent can request spousal support modification if either party’s financial circumstances have significantly changed. For example, if the supported spouse has secured stable employment, the paying spouse might request the court reconsider the terms of the agreement. The same applies if the supported spouse remarries.
Washington courts are strict when it comes to modifying child support. However, you may convince the judge to modify the agreement if the financial circumstances of either parent or the child’s needs have changed.
How a Seattle Attorney Can Help With Post-Divorce Modification
An attorney can review your reasons for requesting modification and advise you accordingly. This is because a post-divorce modification isn’t something courts take lightly. As mentioned before, you must have a valid reason to request such a modification.
Your attorney can help you explore other options if you don’t have a solid reason to request a modification. Again, this is because a Seattle post-divorce modification attorney understands this area of family law better.
Such an attorney can also help you file the necessary paperwork to convince the judge to approve your request. Just because your request is valid doesn’t mean the court will approve it. Instead, you’ll need evidence.
For example, if you lost your job and cannot pay child support for quite a while or if you’re the supported spouse and believe the paying spouse owes more than what they’re currently paying, an attorney can help you navigate this issue.
How to File for a Post-Divorce Modification In Washington
To request post-divorce modification, you’ll first need to identify the reason for modification and establish whether it is strong enough. For example, if you’d like to request that the court modify child support, you’ll head over to the Washington courts website, choose the most appropriate form, and then file it with the court.
However, this alternative is complex. In addition, the exact procedure usually varies from case to case. If you submit the wrong form, leave out any required information, or make other mistakes when filing this petition, the court may reject your request.
This is why you need an experienced post-divorce modification attorney to evaluate your case and handle all the required paperwork. If you live in the Seattle area or anywhere in King or Snohomish counties, contact Zafiro Law to speak with an experienced post-decree modification attorney.
At Zafiro Law, we offer family law services to residents of Seattle, Kirkland, Bellevue, Shoreline, Renton, Kent, Issaquah, Mercer Island, Redmond, Sammamish, Mountlake Terrace, Lake Forest Park, Bothell, Mukilteo, Mill Creek, Edmonds, and the surrounding areas. Call us at (206) 309-9645 to start your process.