The end of a marriage is a difficult time for everyone involved. No matter how certain you are about the divorce being the best for everyone involved, you are likely to experience powerful emotions during and after your divorce. Those feelings could lead you to behave in ways that you later regret. In some cases, emotions during divorce can cause people to become quite passive, afraid to push for what they want in the divorce because they just want it to be over.

Months later, when those feelings have subsided, it may become obvious that the results aren’t what you wanted. Alternatively, it’s also quite common for people’s circumstances, such as their employment or income, to change in the weeks and months following their divorces. When that happens, the details in your divorce decree may need to be reviewed and potentially modified.

Custody and support terms are not written in stone

While the outcome of your divorce may be the result of a court order, that doesn’t mean that custody and support arrangements can’t be modified under certain circumstances. Perhaps you realize that your allocated parenting time isn’t enough to maintain a healthy, positive bond between you and your children. Maybe your job has changed and you can no longer maintain the same level of child support as before.

Some people try to work with their former spouses to reach informal solutions to these issues. For example, one parent may agree to accept less support or agree to additional parenting time for the other parent. However, it is always best to get agreements in writing. If your ex refuses to compromise with you, you will need to ask the court to change the child support order or parenting plan. Whatever you do, you should avoid violating a support or custody order.

When is a post-decree modification an option?

Depending on your circumstances, it may be possible for you to request that the court modify your child support order or parenting plan. For child support, you will need to demonstrate that your financial circumstances or those of your ex or children have changed. Your first step should be to review your finances in the child support calculator for Texas to determine if if the amount will need to change. If the calculator indicates a change of 10 percent or more, it may be time to file for a modification,

Modifying a parenting plan can prove more complicated, especially if your ex isn’t willing to cooperate. You may have to demonstrate issues arising from your current situation or prove that you have addressed previous issues with your parenting ability or financial stability. You may need to carefully review the details of your case to see what could help you build a case for modification of your parenting plan.