After your divorce is final, you will continue to make adjustments and experience changes in multiple areas of your life. The finalization of the legal process of ending your marriage does not mean you no longer have a say in how the terms of your divorce order impact your life. In some cases, it is appropriate to seek a modification to the divorce decree. These changes may be possible either through a court appeal or settlement agreement between the two parties.
If you believe the terms of your divorce are unfair, unlawful, financially oppressive, harmful to your relationship with your kids or negatively impacting your life in other ways, you may have grounds to pursue a modification or appeal. Before you begin, it may be helpful to have an understanding of how the appeals or modification process works before you proceed.
The appeals process
Even if both parties are in agreement regarding changes to the current divorce order, a verbal understanding is not sufficient. It is prudent to follow the appropriate legal steps in order to reduce the chance of conflict and confusion. In order to appeal a current divorce decree, you may have to prove there was either an error of law or issue with the judge’s decision during your divorce proceeding. If you believe you have grounds to move forward, you will have a notice of appeal with the other party.
You and the other party may have to report to a Colorado appellate court in person, and there could be oral arguments from both parties. After the arguments are complete, the appellate court will make a final decision. The appeals process can be quite expensive and complex, and it may make more sense for your specific situation to pursue a modification instead.
Appeal or modification?
If you want to change your divorce decree, you will find it beneficial to explore the options available to you. Whether it is through the appeals process or a modification, you may be able to secure terms that make more sense for your current circumstances and long-term needs. An assessment of your case may help you understand the most appropriate course of action if you have post-judgement concerns about the terms of your divorce order.