Once you’ve put in the work and finalized your divorce agreement, it will be approved by a court. You and your now-ex-spouse will be bound by the court’s orders regarding child custody, child support, property division, alimony, and any other divorce-related matters you settled during the proceedings.
But what happens if the judge made a mistake? What happens if the terms you agreed on no longer reflect your needs or the reality of your life?
There Are Two Ways to Adjust Your Divorce Settlement
Don’t panic yet – your divorce settlement can be changed if you successfully prove that it should be. To change a part of your divorce decree, you’ll have to either file an appeal arguing that the judge made a mistake, or request a post-divorce modification.
At any point after receiving a divorce settlement, you can file a motion to modify certain aspects of the decree. Though courts will usually not consider amending an order regarding property division, they may agree to modify a custody, child support, or spousal maintenance order.
To successfully modify your court order, you’ll have to prove that a substantial change in your life necessitates the modification.
Examples of valid reasons to modify a family court order include:
You lost a job or earned a promotion that affects your income
One party suffers a serious illness or injury
One party begins exhibiting signs of drug abuse, domestic violence, or child neglect
One parent is arrested
One party remarries
One parent needs to relocate
Appealing A Court’s Decision
Though judges and family court systems in Texas are held to high standards, everyone is prone to the occasional mistake. Perhaps the judge overlooked a crucial piece of evidence in your case, or maybe you simply disagree with their findings. Whatever the case may be, you have the right to request an appeal of your divorce decree.
Once you receive your divorce settlement and it is signed into effect by a judge, you have 30 days to file an appeal. By filing the appeal, you are asking a higher court to review the original judgment to determine if a mistake was made at some point in the original case.
To win an appeal and overturn a divorce decree, you’ll have to prove that the court or judge made a mistake in applying to law to your case. Generally, courts only consider evidence presented in the original trial. Though rare, the court may also consider new evidence in certain situations.
Discuss Your Case with Hembree Bell Law Firm
If you feel that any portion of your divorce settlement is inaccurate or no longer reflective of your situation, we urge you to discuss your options with our divorce lawyer in Austin. At Hembree Bell Law Firm, we offer comprehensive counsel for modifications and appeals.