Grounds for Modifying Court Orders in Colorado

Posted By Clawson & Clawson, LLP || 4-May-2016

While you are going through a typical divorce process in Colorado, you and your spouse are supposed to be going back and forth, performing a give and take of rights and responsibilities to keep things balanced. You are also supposed to be looking towards the future to determine who needs what support and why. If this is remembered and your divorce is finalized, everything should be perfect. Right?

Not necessarily. Life can throw curves at us pretty quickly and with little to no warning. What might have seemed like the right call and a fair agreement during your divorce may now be a massive burden on you, such as if you are paying more spousal support than you can reasonably afford, or you never get to see your kids due to your ex’s necessary relocation for work. When your divorce agreements just aren’t working out for you anymore, you can request a modification from the court, but only if you have valid grounds to do so.

What Does the Court Consider “Valid Grounds”?

Being upset with how things are going is not enough reason for the court to review your case and accept modifications. There must have occurred at least one of a few life events that are deemed significant enough to warrant modifying a court order.

  1. Remarriage: If your ex-spouse marries someone else, that’s good news for their romantic life and good news for you if you were paying them regular alimony. Remarriage does not guarantee, however, that child support will stop or reduce.
  2. Unforeseen job loss: Economic downturns can catch the best companies by surprise. If you lost your job without warning and without severance, you should consider immediately filing for court order modifications. You could either reduce the amount of alimony you pay, or increase the amount that you receive.
  3. Maturity: Child support payments will end if your youngest child shared with your ex-spouse turns 19, marries, or joins the military. You can, of course, use a modification to prevent this cancelation if you feel it is necessary.
  4. Mutual agreement: It can be astounding how much can be accomplished when you and your ex-spouse cooperate. If this is a possibility, the two of you can file a modification to virtually any court order together and should be given approval.

If you need help determining if you can modify a court order in Colorado, contact Clawson & Clawson, LLP. Our Colorado Springs family law attorneys would be happy to review your options during a free case evaluation.

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