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How soon can I modify my divorce decree?

If you have a final divorce decree or a final custody order, you have the option in most cases to modify that later when it comes to the child-related provisions in your order. Generally speaking, if there's been any material and substantial change in circumstances and by the way, this is on a case by case basis. But if there's been a material and substantial change in circumstances, the court has the ability to go in and modify your order. Let's say you've gotten remarried or your ex spouse has gotten remarried, or let's say that there's been some new change in the child's life. They've changed schools or they've changed neighborhoods, and there's something that's detrimental to your child that has occurred.

You can go back in and ask the court to modify that court order. If you're asking to modify custody, generally, you have to wait a year after the prior order in order to modify a custody order. However, there are certain circumstances where you can modify or ask the court to modify custody or primary conservatorship. If it hasn't been a year, you do have to prove that there is some detriment to your child's wellbeing in their present circumstances with that other parent and with that filing, you have to file an affidavit and you have to put in facts that have taken us through would warrant a change in that primary conservatorship. And so when you're looking or discussing those issues with your attorney, you want to be sure that you're forthcoming with all of the information to determine whether or not you can circumvent that year waiting requirement or whether you have grounds to file sooner.