A divorce decree lays out the specifics of the split and defines your legal rights. For instance, it addresses child custody if you are a parent, defining when you will see your children and how it will happen. It also addresses property division, spousal support, alimony and other related issues.
You may want to modify this decree at some point, if there is a serious change, and it is possible. For example, maybe the court ordered you to pay a lot in alimony to your ex. You could make the monthly payments at first, but then you lost your job. You can’t afford them now that you’re unemployed and looking for work, so you want to lower the payments or eliminate them entirely.
One big question that you have is how long this is going to take. You know that divorce can take months; you’ve been through it. What should you expect with a modification?
Generally, the rule of thumb is that your modification will not happen for 30 to 60 days. However, that doesn’t start until the court has all of the information that it needs — such as your oral argument for why the modification is justified — and so the whole process can take even longer than that.
It’s important to remember that you have to follow the current decree, to the letter, until it gets changed officially. Don’t do it in advance, even if you have asked for a modification that you think you will get.
As you work your way through this process, make sure you are well aware of all of the legal options that you have.