Call for a free consultation


When Can a Texas Divorce Decree Be Modified? 

Posted on in Divorce

fort worth divorce lawyerOnce a Texas divorce is finalized, the terms of the divorce decree generally remain unchanged and Texas courts have the authority to enforce the terms and sanction anyone who does not comply with their divorce decree. 

Sometimes, however, a divorce spouse will need or want to change their divorce decree. This could be because they feel the terms are fundamentally unfair or that the law was incorrectly applied, or because their circumstances have changed enough that the original terms of something like child support or child custody no longer makes sense. If this sounds like your current situation, it is important to understand when a divorce decree can be changed. 

Which Parts of a Texas Divorce Decree Can Be Changed? 

Courts are reluctant to approach certain parts of a divorce decree after the order has been handed down; after all, few people are completely satisfied with the terms of their divorce decree, and endless appeals would needlessly clog up an already stressed court system. 

Unless the law was wrongly applied by a judge, the property division portion of a divorce decree cannot be changed. If you and your spouse reached an agreement voluntarily or with the help of mediation, your chances of getting the property division changed are virtually zero. If a judge divided your property, you may be able to appeal to the appellate court if there is a legitimate question of the application of the law, but a change is unlikely. 

Much more common is the changing of the portions of a decree that address child support, child custody, or alimony (known in Texas as spousal maintenance). These portions all depend on the circumstances of both the spouses and the minor children, so as time goes on and circumstances change, these portions may be changed as well. 

Generally, however, someone wanting to modify their alimony or child support payments or parenting plan will need to show they have experienced a substantial change in circumstances. This potentially includes many situations, such as: 

  • A job loss

  • A significant change in income

  • Moving out of state

  • The death of either spouse

  • The remarriage or cohabitation of the spouse receiving child support

  • A significant change in the needs of the child, such as the development of a disability  

Meeting with an attorney will help you understand whether you are likely to succeed in your petition to modify a divorce decree. 

Meet with a Fort Worth, TX Divorce Modification Lawyer

If you want to modify a part of your divorce decree but are unsure of what your options are under Texas law, schedule a consultation with a Texas divorce modification attorney with Hatton & Hatton, PLLC. If you are able to petition for a modification, we will work passionately on your behalf to ensure you get the most favorable outcome possible. Call us today at 817-349-8120




Back to Top