Can I Modify My Divorce Order?
Though meant to be long-lasting, divorce orders can be adjusted in some situations. Here's what you should know about modifying your divorce order, and how our attorneys at Family Law Solutions of Iowa can assist with your case.
Changing Your Divorce Order
Not all provisions within your divorce order are modifiable — specific orders such as property settlements. Additionally, Iowa court orders are generally only able to be changed if one or both spouses experience a significant change in circumstances. For instance — if you lost your job, are suffering from a severe illness, were injured, you may be eligible to modify your court order.
A divorce order holds many court orders that can be adjusted — such as alimony, child custody, and child support orders. Keep reading to learn the guidelines for changing your specific orders.
Under Iowa family law, alimony is awarded to the financially disadvantaged spouse during a divorce proceeding. There are different circumstances that may determine how much spousal support must be paid — and for how long. Likewise, the court will consider these circumstances if a modification is needed. For example, if a spouse loses their job and cannot provide as much support, the court may lower the amount or change the order altogether.
Child Custody Orders
Though a child custody arrangement is well-thought-out during the divorce process, the set up may not always work for both you and your ex-spouse forever. If life changes have caused the need to shift your schedule or planned-time spent with your child, the court may approve a change in your situation.
Valid Reasons for a Custody Modification
Under Iowa state law, the custody arrangement that was awarded to you and your co-parent should stand to be in the best interest of you and your child. If you do not agree on your arrangement, the court will mandate you to resolve this conflict with your co-parent.
However, a substantial life change, such as the following, are exceptions that may warrant a change in your child custody order:
- A long-distance move.
- A loss of housing.
- A parent is sent overseas for military duty.
- A parent is arrested and sentenced to serve time in prison.
- A parent is proven to be abusive to their child.
- A change in a parent's ability to care for the child full-time or part-time.
- A long-term change to one of the parent's work schedules.
- A change in the child’s needs in relation to their health or age.
If mediation for your situation is not possible, the court may grant you a change in your order under these circumstances. However, you may need to bring the following examples to prove a significant change in you or your child’s situation:
- A report of actual parenting time versus scheduled parenting time.
- A report of problems that have occurred during custody.
- A record of any police incidents enforcing your custody order.
- Documentation of a change in work or location.
- Testimonies from your child’s doctor, teacher, or other witnesses.
- Records of medical, school, and criminal importance.
- Other unofficial examples, including social media posts and texts.
Any modifications will be considered according to what the Iowa family court feels is the best arrangement for the child.
Divorce Order Modifications in Des Moines
Think of a divorce order as a contract — you and your spouse decide on certain measures, which is then finalized legally with the court. If you were to adjust your order or request legal changes, having the help of a lawyer can help make this process easier.
Whether your life circumstances have changed or criminal issues have arisen that necessitate modifications to court orders that were made during your divorce proceedings, Family Law Solutions of Iowa has extensive legal experience representing clients across Iowa with professional, competent, and knowledgeable advocacy.
Contact our team today at (515) 305-3474, or visit us online, to book a consultation.