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How do I modify my divorce?

Once a divorce has been finalized, you may feel a sense of relief because you can put the past behind you. However, over time, there may also be aspects that you would like to change in the already-finalized divorce settlement. The good news is that either spouse has the right to be able to change decisions or change aspects of the final divorce settlement.

This blog will serve as a brief overview into how to start an appeal or a motion to modify the divorce judgment, and what the most common challenges can be.

Making an appeal

It is unusual to be able to successfully appeal a judge's decision on a divorce case ruling, but it is possible. To go through this process, you must make an appeal to a higher court, which is called an appeals court. In order to be successful, you will need to prove that the trial court judge applied the law incorrectly in the case of making the decision in question.

Settlement agreements can not generally be appealed if both spouses originally agreed to the settlement terms. However, you would be able to make modifications.


Appealing a case is usually very difficult to do. Making a modification, however, is much easier to do because you are not trying to challenge the judge's previous ruling. You can file a "motion to modify" in regards to spousal support, child custody or visitation schedules. This motion will usually take place in the same court that you finalized your divorce in. An attorney can provide more information.

Source: Findlaw, "Appeals and motions to modify the divorce judgement," accessed Aug. 24, 2017

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