The legal standards and procedures for modifying court orders after your divorce depends largely on the type of modification you are looking for. Parenting plans, child support, and spousal support can be changed based on a substantial change in circumstance. Changing the division of assets and debts, on the other hand, are much more difficult to modify and require something like fraud or duress to have occurred.
In terms of your parenting plan, you cannot make a major or minor modification to your existing parenting plan unless you can prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances that you didn’t anticipate at the time of entering into the parenting plan during your divorce. For a major modification, the substantial change has to have occurred in the child’s life or the life of the other party. For a minor modification, the change may be in your life and the ability to change is more limited.
With respect to child support, you also must show a substantial change in circumstances in order to recalculate a parent’s child support obligation. After two years, the change can be an increase in income for one of the spouses. Children turning 13 can also trigger a modification of child support.
The Washington divorce lawyers at Pacific Northwest Family Law are eager to answer your questions and help you understand the different post-decree modifications that may be available to you under Washington law. As your attorneys, we will focus on how best to represent your interests and achieve the goals that you wish to reach. We have handled countless post-divorce modification and other family law proceedings over the years, and we will work with you to create the best strategy possible in your case. Call our offices at (509) 792-3154 and learn how we can help you with your Washington divorce, child custody, legal separation, parentage case, domestic violence case, or post-decree modification case.