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Modification of Final Judgment

CAPABLE DIVORCE LAWYERS SERVING ATLANTA RESIDENTS

Sometimes, even a final court order may not be the end of wrangling with your ex-spouse over matters affecting your finances and children, particularly if circumstances demand that you make some modification to any of the orders in the decree. If you find yourself in this situation, the divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Thomas C. Rowsey can assist you. We have extensive experience assisting Atlanta residents in a broad variety of family law matters, including seeking modification of final judgments.

MODIFICATION OF FINAL JUDGMENTS

Courts generally try to leave almost nothing to chance when it comes to financial and parental arrangements following the dissolution of a marriage. In fact, divorce decrees contractually bind couples to very specific commitments far into the future. In most cases, the spouses are willing to abide by the terms of the order, and they may even reach agreement on many of these matters without court intervention. What becomes difficult, then, is when circumstances change for one or the other ex-spouse subsequent to the final decree, making it difficult to continue to comply with a final order.

When this happens, the affected individual should consider resolving the situation by seeking a modification. Both parties are bound by law to comply with court orders. Even when compliance is impossible, ignoring the orders is not an option. Individuals who defy court orders may find themselves facing contempt and enforcement proceedings, which can lead to penalties above and beyond compelled compliance.

Georgia courts generally will not consider modifications regarding division of assets, but they will consider modifications of final orders when it comes to spousal support, child support, and child custody and visitation.

There are many reasons that one or the other party may need to seek modification. When it comes to spousal support and child support obligations, one of the most common reasons for seeking modification is a change in financial circumstances, such as if the paying spouse involuntarily loses his or her job. Similarly, child custody or child visitation rights and plans may need to be modified if circumstances change, such as a parent developing a serious medical condition.

Occasionally, the spouses themselves can reach agreement on a new arrangement. However, even when they agree, the parties must submit the modification to the court for approval for the new arrangement to legally replace the pre-existing order. If the court is satisfied that the parties fully understand and assent to the new arrangement, the court is likely to approve it.

However, sometimes the other spouse does not agree to a modification. Under Georgia law, the party who wants a change must then file a motion for modification with the court that granted the original decree and give notice to the other party. In deciding on such a motion, the standard that the court applies is whether the requested modification is justified by a “substantial change in material circumstances or conditions.” If the requested modification relates to child custody or visitation, the court will also base its decision on the “best interests of the child.” The party seeking modification must provide documentary or other evidence to the court to substantiate his or her claim according to these standards.

DISCUSS YOUR FAMILY LAW MATTER WITH AN ATLANTA ATTORNEY

Obtaining a modification of a final judgment is not always an easy hurdle to overcome. If you need the help of an experienced family law lawyer in trying to change a divorce decree near Atlanta, contact the Law Offices of Thomas C. Rowsey. You can set up a free consultation by calling 770-993-5317 or using our online form. We proudly represent clients in Roswell, Milton, Alpharetta, Sandy Springs, Johns Creek, and other communities throughout Fulton, Cobb, and DeKalb Counties.

Thomas Rowsey, Attorneys at Law

4.7 / 5.0

Based on 6 reviews

GAAW Wright

Tom has been our attorney for many years. He has been with us through thick and thin. He has successfully handled all our queries and cases with patience and understanding. We highly recommend Tom!

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My family and I moved to Roswell from Chicago over ten years ago. At that time, we were referred to Tom to assist us with some of our legal needs. Since then he has become a trusted friend we consider to be our family attorney. The comfort in being able to speak candidly with him and know that he understands our concerns is invaluable. Tom is a man of integrity, vast experience (more than 25 years), who has an exceptional knowledge of the law. Impeccable ethics and an unparalleled work ethic make him an outstanding attorney who is capable, though, and diligent. I recommend him highly to anyone in need of sound legal counsel.

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At all times for the duration of my case, Tom demonstrated professionalism, confidence, and honesty. At no point was I pressured to make any one decision over another, but Tom did his best to inform me about the consequences and benefits of all of my options. If he did not know some specific detail regarding my case, he made the effort to find out. Tom instantly exudes trustworthiness and was always in steady contact. I would recommend his services to anyone.

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I met Tom over 10 years ago after settling in Roswell with my family. I have learned over the years that Tom is a man of high integrity, genuine and extremely knowledgeable in his field. Along with being honest, he is a straight shooter and will let you know where you stand. He will provide you with personal attention you don’t get at bigger firms and will go the extra mile. As legal matters can be frightening to deal with, Tom will guide you through the process and get you the results you need. You couldn’t ask for a better person to be fighting for you.