Divorce is a complex process that involves making difficult decisions about the division of assets and property. When a divorce is finalized, it means that the court has issued a final judgment on these matters, and both parties are legally bound by the terms of the divorce. This can include decisions about the division of property, such as who gets the family home or who is responsible for certain debts.
While it may be tempting to try to modify the terms of your property division after your divorce is finalized, it is important to understand that this can be a challenging process. In most cases, once a divorce is finalized, the terms of the property division are considered final and cannot be easily modified.
However, there are certain circumstances in which it may be possible to modify the terms of your property division after a divorce. Jensen Family Law in Scottsdale AZ, a reputable family law firm in Arizona, outlines them below:
There Has Been A Significant Change In Circumstances
If either party has experienced a significant change in circumstances since the divorce was finalized, it may be possible to modify the terms of the property division. This could include things like:
- A significant increase or decrease in income
- The loss of a job
- The onset of a serious illness
- An increase in children-related expenses
- Changes in parenting time and child custody
Please note, the circumstances matter when it comes to the loss of a job. The court may consider if you were laid off through no fault of your own. However, if you quit your job with no valid reason, your modification request may be denied.
The Original Property Division Was Based On Fraud Or Misrepresentation
If one party deliberately misled the other party or the court about the value of certain assets or debts, it may be possible to seek a modification of the property division.
There Was A Mistake In The Original Property Division
If there was a mistake made in the original property division, it may be possible to seek a modification. This could include things like an error in calculating the value of an asset or a misunderstanding about the terms of a debt.
If both parties agree to modify the property division, they can do so through a written agreement or by seeking court approval.
How to Modify Property Division After Your Divorce is Finalized
If you are seeking to modify the terms of your property division after your divorce is finalized, there are a few steps you can take:
- Consult with a qualified attorney – Modifying the terms of your property division after a divorce can be a complex process, and it is important to have the guidance of a qualified attorney. An attorney can help you understand your options and guide you through the process.
- Determine if you have a valid reason for seeking a modification -You must have a valid reason to successfully modify the terms of your property division. As mentioned above, this could include a significant change in circumstances, fraud or misrepresentation in the original property division, or a mistake in the original property division.
- File a motion to modify the property division– If you believe you have a valid reason for seeking a modification, you will need to file a motion with the court. This will typically involve completing a form and providing any supporting documentation, such as evidence of a change in circumstances or proof of fraud or misrepresentation.
- Attend a hearing – If your motion to modify the property division is granted, you will need to attend a hearing where you can present your case to the court. This may involve presenting evidence and testimony to support your argument for a modification.
- Wait for a decision: After the hearing, the court will consider your argument and make a decision on whether to modify the terms of the property division. This process can take several weeks or months, depending on the complexity of the case and the workload of the court.
The process for modifying property division after a divorce can vary depending on the state in which you live. That is why it is vital to consult with a qualified and experienced divorce and family attorney like Jensen Family Law in Scottsdale AZ who is familiar with the laws in your state. It is also worth noting that modifying the terms of your property division after a divorce is not a common occurrence and can be a challenging process, so it is important to carefully consider your options before moving forward.