How Would You Define A Successful Outcome In A Divorce Case?
I would define it as the client having his or her eyes wide open from the beginning as to what to expect. Very rarely is it all roses, rainbows and unicorns and the client needs to understand that early and needs to know what to expect and in a lot of cases, this is the worst, darkest, lowest point in a person’s life. It is just very hard to put a positive spin on it, but I feel like I have done my job if there are no surprises to the client throughout the process, whether it be substantively as to what to expect from assets, debt distribution, spousal maintenance, child support, or procedurally.
If they are in the loop as to the hearings that are coming up and what the judge is going to be hearing and how I expect the judge to be ruling. If the client gets everything he or she deserves and is able to transition into his or her post-divorce life with a good relationship with their children. In some cases, even their ex-spouse, that is a pretty darn good result.
How Often Do You Handle Modifications For A Divorce?
As far as my domestic litigation caseload, modification of divorce decrees is pretty close to half of what I do.
The Reasons That People Seek Modification After The Divorce Is Finalized
If there is a parenting plan put in place when the children are of younger age, just by the children growing up, their needs and the time that they are able to spend with their parents who live in separate households now changes and sometimes the parents are not on the same page as to what a new residential custody schedule should look like. It is definitely a reason why some people need to file post-divorce motions. In some cases when spousal maintenance was ordered, based on the party that is paying, earning a certain income, if he or she loses their job or gets a demotion for some reason, then that is something that needs to be looked at by the court and then child support modifications.
Again, if a couple gets divorced when their children are young, just through the normal course of life, getting new jobs, income increases, decreases, the parties move on, get new spouses, new children enter the picture, all of those things can be reasons that child support needs to be tinkered with.
Is It Difficult To Get A Modification After A Divorce Is Finalized?
A child support modification, the recent guidelines especially have tried to make it pretty darn simple as far as obtaining information from the other side. I can tell you that if you got a child support order entered, after three years, the court will look at it anew just if one of the parties asks for it to be looked at. Within those three years though, the court will not modify child support unless there is a material change of circumstances which has been interpreted to mean that the amount being paid in child support is either increasing or decreasing by ten percent, otherwise the court does not want to mess with it. In most cases, I would recommend that if you think a modification on any of these issues needs to be dealt with by the court that counsel should be retained.
Unique Attributes Of Attorney Patrick Copley In Handling Divorce Cases
I am absolutely open to the idea of the parties coming in, sitting down and seeing if we can hash things out in a reasonable, fair basis following the statutes and the case laws of the respective state. I have no problem with that. However, my background, as far as litigation goes, allows me to get aggressive if the other side does not want to be fair, reasonable or equitable. It is pretty darn easy for me to transition into that mode and roll up my sleeves and do the heavy lifting that is required if the other side does not want to be fair, reasonable or equitable.
There are these kinds of a continuum lawyers and on one end, you have domestic litigation attorneys and I do not belittle this, but just want everybody, even if it does not really make sense, to come in and hold hands and just get this done and let us get this off the court’s docket. On the other end of the spectrum, there are lawyers who just want to fight about whether or not the sun is going to be coming up tomorrow in the east. I can do both and I understand the reasons for both and I understand that each case is different and requires a different approach.
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