Table of Contents:
- How to Modify a Divorce Decree in Arizona
- How to Modify a Georgia Divorce Decree
- How to Modify a Divorce Decree in Oklahoma
Read your divorce decree. In some instances, a divorce decree may require that you and your former spouse attend mediation or some other alternate dispute resolution session before petitioning the court for a modification. A careful reading of your divorce decree will tell you what, if any, steps you must take before asking the court for a modification.
Ask your former spouse to agree to a modification. If your former spouse agrees to change some orders contained in the divorce decree, both parties can submit requests to the court to modify the divorce decree. The advantage to this arrangement is that usually there is no need for a hearing or trial to modify the divorce decree.
File a post-decree petition. To modify a divorce decree you must ask the court that granted your divorce to re-open your case, reevaluate the situation and modify the order. You may hire an attorney to file the post decree petition, or in some instances you can do it yourself. Contact the clerk of the court that issued your divorce decree and inquire whether they have self-help forms available to assist you in filing a post-decree petition on your own.
Prove changed circumstances. The court will not modify your divorce decree unless you can show that you or your former spouse's circumstances have changed since the divorce decree was entered. A change in circumstance could be your former spouse's income, your income, your job location, the age of your children or the marital status of any of the parties. You will need to gather proof of the changed circumstances to show the court when you request a modification.
Obtain a copy of your original Georgia divorce decree. If you do not have a copy, visit the circuit court clerk's office in the county where your divorce was held and request a copy. For instance, if your divorce was finalized in Baldwin County, visit the courthouse in Milledgeville.
Complete the motion for divorce modification required in Georgia. This is a requirement to change, or modify, the original order issued. The clerk has the information regarding the proper form to use.
Enter the circuit court of the county in Georgia where the hearing will take place. Place your name as the Plaintif" and your ex-spouses name as Defendant. Include the number provided by the clerk's office.
Place your name in the first line after "Comes Now." Complete Line 1 by entering your county, the state (Georgia) and full address.
Enter the same information on Line 2 for the defendant. Include an address or employment for serving the notice. Notice is sent from the clerk's office to all parties involved at least 30 days before the court date.
Put the date your divorce was finalized in a Georgia court on Line 3. The following lines are reserved for the reasons you request the modification.
Sign the form and file it with the clerk's office at the county courthouse in Georgia. Pay the filing fee and receive a court date.
Attend court on the date set by the clerk's office. Upon arriving, you generally have time to discuss the changes and potentially agree to them before appearing in front of the judge. However, if you can not agree, Georgia state law allows a judge to administer a decision, or order.
Contact your former spouse and discuss the modification. Although not explicitly mandated by Oklahoma divorce law, modification of a divorce decree is a civil law matter. The accepted practice in civil cases, including divorce matters, is to attempt a negotiated settlement of an issue before taking action in the district court.
Prepare an agreed order modifying the divorce decree if your ex-spouse concurs with your proposal. The clerk of the court likely maintains a standard form you can use for this purpose. Fill it out completely and include the number of your case. Set out the specific modification of the divorce decree. Both you and your ex-spouse must sign the agreed order in front of a notary public. Some people hire a lawyer to prepare an agreed order, but doing so is not required by law in Oklahoma.
Deliver the executed agreed order to the district court clerk. The clerk's office will forward the document to the appropriate judge for signature.
Prepare a motion to modify if your ex-spouse is opposed to the proposed modification. The district court clerk likely maintains samples of motions or motion forms for your use. Although it's not required, some people retain an attorney to prepare and pursue a motion to modify.
Include in the motion the provision in the divorce decree that you want to modify and your specific reasons for the requested amendment.
Sign the motion. Unlike the agreed order, your signature does not need to be notarized.
Send a copy of the motion to your ex-spouse. Oklahoma law requires that your ex-spouse receive a copy of the motion to modify.
File the motion with the district court clerk.
Obtain a hearing date from the district court clerk or from the administrative assistant of the judge assigned to the case.
Notify your ex-spouse, in writing, of the hearing date and time. The clerk's office may do this for you or provide you with a standard hearing notice form. Oklahoma law (and the Oklahoma constitution) requires that the other party receive notice of this court proceeding.
Attend the hearing before the district court judge and make your presentation in support of the motion to modify.