When people get divorced, they begin to build separate lives. Things may change over time. There could come a moment when their divorce decree needs to be changed to reflect a new situation. One spouse may want a modification in support payments. There may be custody issues to change. Relocating to another state could become an issue. The financial circumstances of a former spouse may improve, and they are now able to provide superior care for their minor children. The goal should be to benefit from a new set circumstances as well as retain the rights obtained in the original divorce decree.


It is important a person only goes to court for a change in their divorce decree after first attempting to resolve the issues with their former spouse. These attempts should be documented as much as possible. Should a person go to the court without previously talking with their former spouse, they could be seen as wasting the court’s time. It is important to discuss this with an experienced attorney. They will know when to file a petition to modify a divorce decree. They will know how the court will interpret their petition. Doing this can save a person a lot of time and frustration.


The former spouse filing to modify a divorce decree needs to provide proof there has been a change in circumstances. This could require evidence that a former spouse has had a significant increase in their income or financial situation. This could be the result of a new job or a former spouse remarrying. The age of the children involved could also require an increase in support payments and more. A custodial spouse may have moved to an area where the cost of living is higher. The more evidence that can be obtained to validate their position, the greater the chance a divorce decree modification will be granted by the court.

Post-Decree Petition

To begin the legal process of changing a divorce decree, a post-decree petition must be filed with the court that granted the divorce. This petition is a way of asking the court to re-open the divorce case. The court will review the situation and decide if a modification to the divorce decree is appropriate. This is an important document. It will determine how a court views the new situation confronting the divorced couple. A mistake can cause a lot of problems. A lawyer with experience in filing post decree petitions will know a court’s procedures as well as its expectations.

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