Austin Divorce Modification Attorneys
Helping You Get the Justice You Deserve
Not all court orders stay relevant forever. In fact, most don't. Filing a modification enables you to get an updated court order that more accurately reflects your current circumstances. It's important to know that most modification cases, especially agreed modifications, require some give and take between the parties involved.
At Agreed Divorces, our Austin modification lawyers have a wealth of experience working with Texans to modify court orders. Our attorneys can help you negotiate with another party to modify an existing order efficiently and peacefully. At Agreed Divorces, we focus on helping clients navigate agreed modifications successfully by encouraging good-faith negotiation between parties and working with clients to draft comprehensive, mutually beneficial agreed modification petitions.
How to Modify a Court Order in Texas
People typically file a modification for child custody, visitation, and support orders. However, you can also file a modification for a spousal or medical support order.
There are two types of modifications: default, and agreed.
Let's say that, during a divorce, you receive a child support order for one child you and your ex share. In Texas, the noncustodial parent typically pays 20% of their net income in child support for one child. Unfortunately, four months after receiving the initial child support judgment, you lose your job. As a result, you can no longer fulfill your child support obligation. To adjust your child support obligation, you need to file a modification case.
If you don't think your ex will agree to pay more child support, you would file for a default order modification where both parties attend hearings in court and present arguments supporting their positions (often represented by a lawyer) to a judge. Resolving a default (or contested) modification can take a significant amount of time and money.
What if you and your ex are on good terms, and they agree to pay more child support until you find a new job? In that case, you would file for an agreed modification case. In agreed modifications, both parties agree on how to change a current court order and simply need a court to finalize the modification.
The processes for filing default and agreed modification cases are different.
To file a default modification, you must:
- Fill out a modification petition and several other forms that specify why you want to modify the existing order, how you want to adjust it, evidence supporting your claim, etc.
- File the petition with the court.
- Serve the other party papers notifying them of the modification petition.
- Fill out the order modification forms.
- Wait for a specified amount of time.
- Go to court and attend hearings.
- Receive a judgment from the court.
The process for an agreed modification is much simpler. You must:
- Fill out an agreed modification petition.
- Make copies and have a lawyer review the modification petition to ensure it's legally sound.
- File your agreed modification case with the court clerk.
- Notify the other parent and ask them to fill out the appropriate forms (a lawyer can help you do this).
- Attend court so the judge can verify that both parties agree on how to modify the order and want the same thing.
- Receive a judgment from the court (judges almost always rule in favor of agreed modifications unless there's a clear legal issue).
Reasons to File for an Agreed Modification
You should consider filing for an agreed modification if:
The income of one or both parties has changed. For example, if you get a raise, you may no longer need as much child or spousal support.
- One parent has lost their job. The financial ramifications of job loss make it a common cause for modification cases.
- One parent gets incarcerated. If a parent goes to prison, they probably won't be able to comply with current court orders.
- The existing custody arrangement is no longer viable. For example, if you need to live somewhere else to pursue a professional opportunity, your current custody arrangement probably won't be sustainable. Changing costs of items such as healthcare, car insurance, etc. can also provoke the need for an order modification.
Going back to our earlier example of job loss—the court might ask your ex to pay more in child support while you look for a job, but might also give you a deadline. If you fail to find a job by the deadline, the court might decide your ex is no longer responsible for paying increased child support. These kinds of compromises are usually set up to prevent individuals from taking advantage of order modifications.
At Agreed Divorces, our attorneys have the tools to help you tackle your agreed modification case head-on.
- Fixed Pricing Starting at $2,500*
- Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
- Avoid Costly Litigation Expenses
- Achieve a Desired Outcome with Minimal Conflict
- Decades of Legal Experience
- Team Oriented and Collaborative Law Firm
- Attorney James Evans
Request Your Free Consultation
File Your Petition With the Court
Work Out the Details of Your Divorce
Draft Your Initial Divorce Decree
Review & Sign Final Documents
Finalize Your Agreed Divorce