Divorce Modifications

Milwaukee Divorce Attorneys

Outlining Divorce Modifications

Life is complicated. Things change.

The couple that once chose to marry may later decide to divorce. Sometimes the terms of that divorce are agreeable at the time, but then become an obligation that they can no longer meet. It happens. Divorce decrees are not set in stone; they can be modified to reflect changes in life circumstances. The Milwaukee family law firm of Bandle & Zaeske, LLP helps Wisconsin couples through the divorce process, including post-divorce modifications.

What is a divorce modification?

Divorce modification is a change in the terms of the divorce order that was issued when you and your spouse officially divorced. In most cases, the divorce decree includes orders pertaining to the division of marital assets, child custody and visitation, child support, spousal maintenance visitation, and other matters.

How can I get a divorce modification?

In Wisconsin, as in most states, the parent seeking the divorce modification must file a motion to modify the original divorce decree, demonstrating to the court a substantial change of circumstances” since the time the decree was issued that supports such a modification.

Child custody modification

Modifying child custody or placement is complex. The court will consider whether there is a substantial change in circumstance that warrants a change, whether there is a need for a change, and whether the change is in the child’s best interests and circumstance. Except in emergency situations, you are required to wait two years after the initial custody and placement order was entered by the court before filing a request for modification.

Child support modification

Financial situations, such as the financial needs of the child or a change in the parent’s earning capacity, can warrant a child support modification. Even if you and your ex-spouse agree to new terms, you must still file a motion or a stipulation with the court so that a new child support order can be issued. Otherwise, the new terms will not legally go into effect.

Residency modifications

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), adopted by the state of Wisconsin, stipulates that the child’s home state is the state in which the child has resided with a parent for six months or more prior to the initial order for custody and placement, or since birth for children under the age of six months. That state retains jurisdiction over child custody issues even if one or both parents have moved.  This can also be modified, but to do so is quite complex.

It is important to get it right

Some couples, choosing to divorce, opt to handle the terms of their divorce settlement themselves. Even in amicable divorces that have straightforward terms, this can be problematic. In many cases, the language used is not clear, or there are issues that have not been addressed. This leads to problems down the road and the need to petition for divorce modifications. At the Milwaukee family law firm of Bandle & Zaeske, LLP, our Wisconsin divorce attorneys guide couples through the divorce process, ensuring the terms of the divorce suit your best interests. When life circumstances change, we are here to help you modify those terms to reflect your current situation. If you are thinking of divorce, or need to modify existing terms of your divorce, give us a call. Our knowledgeable team is available to meet with you for an initial consultation at no cost. Contact our office today at 414-359-1424 or online to schedule an appointment.

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