Divorce is the dissolution of a marriage, but that does not mean that all responsibilities to a former spouse or children will necessarily end. Divorced parents follow strict child custody and child support guidelines to provide the best possible upbringing to their children. In other cases, spousal support may need to be paid to a spouse so that they maintain the lifestyle they have grown accustomed to. Violation of these agreements can result in some serious consequences. Rather than violating a legal order, a modification can be sought. If approved, it can change the terms that were set by a judge in the original divorce case.

Reasons for Modification

Pursuing a modification is the most effective means of reevaluating an existing agreement for child support, child custody, spousal support, maintenance or any others. Modifications are post-decree matters and should be initiated when there are significant changes to either spouse's income or monthly expenses such as a job promotion or loss of a job, unexpected medical expenses, or changing needs in education or other need for the children of the marriage. With respect to agreements made to care for children, modifications could be sought when circumstances change regarding visitation.

How to Modify an Existing Court Order

The court will need to be petitioned in order for the modification to be considered and a form can be obtained and filed with the court for a small fee. A judge will review the case and look into the proceedings that led to the original court ruling. They will also assess why the change is being sought, and if they believe the new situation does demonstrate a valid need for a modification. The other party will be served and their answer must be given to the court within a 20 day period, or up to 60 if they are out of the state. The hearing can then be scheduled in which the court will listen to the reasons that modification is being requested. If the other party fails to respond after being served, default may be issued.

Modification is one of the most important tools former spouses have to keep their right to support current and up-to-date. Delays in support adjustments can be disastrous for everyone involved. These matters should be handled by a legal professional, and Blair & Kim, PLLC has the experience to address all post decree matters quickly. Our firm can quickly and efficiently file a modification to address changes that may occur with you or your spouse, and we will work hard to make sure that your modification is decided in the most favorable way possible.

Client Reviews
Mark C. Blair has no rival in his field in Seattle. A consummate professional. Communication was brief, straightforward, easy to understand, and without a typical condescending tone you can sometimes experience from attorneys on top of their field. Correspondence was timely and always affective. Any in need of criminal defense, should have a conversation with Mr. Blair, and you will quickly see and feel, no further contacts, referrals, or phone calls need be made. The money and time that can be saved by streamlining future contact and collateral damage in the sentencing process will far and away be worth every penny of the fee structure. Thank you very very much Mark Blair. N.Mark French
Sara Kim of BlairKim is a great attorney. I had never before had representation or dealt with the legal system and she made it very easy for me. She converted the legalese into laymans terms for me and helped me to understand the steps of the process. When I hesitated on certain decisions, Sara gave me the confidence and encouragement to proceed – especially since it was most beneficial to me in the long run. Sara is very straightforward and professional while also being personable and pleasant to deal with. Tamara
Sara Kim was the perfect lawyer for our situation. We were determined not to involve the courts in our divorce. Within the first 30 minutes of consultation, Sara proposed an equitable formula for division of property which we used to negotiate an agreement that felt fair to both of us. Our flat fee arrangement with Sara covered the filing of paperwork which alleviated much pressure for us during a very stressful time. I highly recommend Sara for her flexibility, professionalism, and efficiency. Carrie