Post-decree Modification in Ohio
What is the process to get a modification?
Post-decree, or post-judgment, modification occurs after a divorce, separation, or dissolution of marriage is granted. While the need for modifications can occur for many reasons, they are the rule rather than the exception for family law matters. Regardless of why you seek a modification, Michael C. Asseff Attorney at Law guides you through the process and helps you present your most favorable case for modification.
Typically, the process to get a modification begins when one party experiences a significant change in circumstances or becomes unhappy with the way the agreement currently works. In any case, the modification process begins when one party files a motion with the court and serves notice on the other spouse. A hearing is scheduled where you can present the reasons for modification and your spouse may present reasons the agreement should not be changed. A family law attorney can help you put forth your best case for a post-decree modification.
What are the requirements to modify a parenting plan or support agreement?
In Ohio, parenting plans, including child custody rights, may be modified. Support payments, including both child support and alimony, may also be changed. In most cases, for a court to approve a modification, each of these factors must be true:
- A substantial change of circumstances must have occurred since the original custody order.
- The change must be in the best interest of the child.
- The benefit from the change must outweigh the harm.
For example, a change in jobs is often a reason to modify the parenting schedule. Sometimes the custodial parent was awarded custody because their work schedule allowed them to be home with the child. If that parent’s work schedule changes so that they work from 3 p.m. to midnight, they may no longer be able to provide the support and guidance the child needs. In this case, a modification of the custody agreement, and perhaps the support agreement, would likely be appropriate.
What happens if my former spouse refuses to follow a post-judgment modification?
Sometimes one former spouse feels it is unfair that the judgment they fought for is changed. Other times, the former spouse might find the agreement to be inconvenient or burdensome. Regardless, both spouses have an obligation to follow the terms of all court orders issued due to the divorce. For monetary support orders, the first stage is an administrative attempt to recover missed payments. If administrative means fail, you can file a civil suit by filing a motion to hold the other spouse in contempt of court. Penalties for contempt of court can include jail time. Finally, if attempts to enforce the order are still unsuccessful, the case can be referred to the prosecutor’s office for criminal nonsupport proceedings.
Contact us for post judgment modification assistance
Sadly, divorce proceedings never really seem to come to a complete close. If you or your former spouse is seeking a modification to your divorce agreement, an experienced lawyer can help you present your case. Contact Michael C. Asseff Attorney at Law today at 440-520-1222 or online.