Modifying a Divorce Decree in Arizona
DUE TO COVID-19 AND OUR NEED TO ENSURE THE HEALTH OF OUR CLIENTS, ALL INITIAL CLIENT CONSULTATIONS WILL BE CONDUCTED BY PHONE. YOU MAY CALL US AT (480)305-8300 TO SCHEDULE A TELEPHONE CALL WITH ONE OF OUR EXPERIENCED FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYS.
Modified Arizona Divorce Decree
Some people ask about modifying a divorce decree in Arizona. So, let’s talk about what you can and what you cannot modify in an Arizona divorce decree. In Arizona, spouses planning to separate or file for divorce are free to agree among themselves about property and support matters in a private contract. Private agreements can be modified in writing if both spouses sign off. Courts affirm these agreements in a divorce as long as the property division and spousal support arrangement seems fair.
In the recent case of LaPrade v. LaPrade, 189 Ariz. 243 (Ariz. 1997), the Arizona Supreme Court discussed whether a couple could make modifications to a settlement agreement after the court has affirmed the agreement in a divorce case.
Before we begin our discussion, we want you to know either party may file to modify the Arizona divorce decree provisions for child support, child custody, parenting time, and alimony upon a sufficient showing of a change in circumstances since the decree was entered. The Arizona Supreme Court in the LaPrade v. Laprade case, however, addressed modifications of other orders in the decree.
Can Your Modify a Divorce Decree in Arizona?
Sarah Jane LaPrade and A.T. LaPrade, Jr. were a married couple who decided to divorce. They agreed on a property division and spousal support arrangement that A.T.’s attorneys put into writing and the couple signed. A week later, the Maricopa County Superior Court entered a divorce judgment.
In it, the court confirmed and approved of the agreement, and made it a part of the divorce decree. The agreement stated that Sarah and A.T. could change their terms if they both agreed to the changes in writing.
Over the course of the next 20 years, they changed the agreement four times. Each of the modifications was in writing, signed by both of them, and filed with and approved by the court.
In 1994, A.T. died. He had remarried before he died and Roy A. Brown was named the executor of his estate. Brown filed a motion to reopen the divorce proceedings between Sarah and A.T. that happened 20 years before, claiming that the four modifications were void.
He argued that they were too vague to be enforced and that the divorce court did not have the authority to make them because – he claimed – the written settlement agreement had merged into the divorce judgment. Under Arizona law, the property division set out in a divorce decree cannot be modified once the order is entered.
The superior court denied the motion, ruling that the modifications were not void, but the court of appeals reversed. It ruled that the changes were invalid because the divorce court did not have the authority to modify the property division set out in a final divorce judgment. On appeal, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that the modifications were not void. It determined that they were not vague and that they did not merge into the divorce judgment.
If you have questions about modifying a divorce decree in Arizona, you should seriously consider contacting the attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC. Our Arizona divorce and family law attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience successfully representing clients in divorce and family law cases.
Our family law firm has earned numerous awards such as US News and World Reports Best Arizona Family Law Firm, US News and World Report Best Divorce Attorneys, “Best of the Valley” by Arizona Foothills readers, and “Best Arizona Divorce Law Firms” by North Scottsdale Magazine.
Call us today at (480)305-8300 or reach out to us through our appointment scheduling form to schedule your personalized consultation and turn your divorce or family law case around today.
Arizona Family Law Attorneys in Scottsdale and Tucson Arizona
More Articles About Divorce in Arizona
- The advantage of Filing Divorce First in Arizona
- Are Prenuptial Agreements Enforceable in Arizona
- Arizona Divorce
- Arizona Divorce Attorney Reviews
- Arizona Divorce Child Custody
- Arizona Divorce Debt
- Arizona Divorce Forms
- Arizona Divorce Laws
- Arizona Divorce Laws Alimony
- Arizona Divorce Laws and Statutes
- Arizona Divorce Laws on Adultery
- Arizona Divorce Papers
- Arizona Divorce Practice
- Arizona Divorce Process
- Arizona Divorce Records Search
- Arizona Marriage Laws
- Asset and Property Search in an Arizona Divorce
- Arizona Divorce When You Can’t Find Your Spouse
- Change to Maiden Name After Divorce in Arizona
- Changing Orders in an Arizona Divorce Decree
- Children and Divorce in Arizona
- College Expenses After Divorce in Arizona
- Complex Divorce Cases in Arizona
- Conciliation Court Services in Arizona
- Consent Required for Marriage of Minors in Arizona
- Considering the Children during a Divorce in Arizona
- Convert to a Covenant Marriage in Arizona
- Coping With Divorce in Arizona
- Court Services to Save a Marriage in Arizona
- Custody of the Family Pet in a Divorce in Arizona
- Dissolution of Marriage in Arizona
- Divorce After Legal Separation in Arizona
- Divorce and Children in Arizona
- Divorce Arizona
- Divorce Case is on the Inactive Calendar in Arizona
- Divorce Court Jurisdiction in Arizona
- Divorce in Arizona Without Children
- Divorce Procedures in Arizona
- Divorce Records in Arizona
- Divorce Statistics in Arizona
- Divorce Support Groups in Arizona
- Domestic Violence and Divorce in Arizona
- Effect of Adultery on an Arizona Divorce
- Effects of Divorce on Children in Arizona
- Enforceable Arizona Prenuptial Agreements
- Failure to Include an Issue in an Arizona Divorce
- Filing for Divorce in Arizona
- Filing for Divorce to Receive Alimony in Arizona
- Guide to Divorce for Men in Arizona
- High Asset Divorce in Arizona
- High Conflict Divorce in Arizona
- High Net Worth Divorce Arizona
- How is a Divorce Finalized in Arizona
- How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take in Arizona
- How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce in Arizona
- How Long Does it Take to Get Divorced in Arizona
- How Long Does Uncontested Divorce Take in Arizona
- How Long To Be Separated Before Divorce in Arizona
- How long to get Temporary Orders in Arizona
- How Much Does it Cost to Get a Divorce in Arizona
- How to Appeal a Divorce Decree in Arizona
- How To Find Good Divorce Attorney in Arizona
- How to Start a Divorce in Arizona
- Learn About Uncontested Divorce in Arizona
- Legally Separated File Divorce in Arizona
- Marital Settlement Agreement in Arizona
- The merger of the Settlement Agreement in Arizona
- Military Divorce Laws in Arizona
- Misled Into Signing Divorce Settlement in Arizona
- No Contest Divorce in Arizona
- No-Fault Divorce in Arizona
- Order to Pay Spouses Attorney Fees in Arizona
- Parenting Class During a Divorce in Arizona
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in Arizona
- Protect Children in a Divorce in Arizona
- Quick Divorce in Arizona
- Reasons for Divorce in Arizona
- Reasons to File for Divorce in Arizona
- Represent Yourself in Arizona Divorce Case
- Same-Sex Divorce in Arizona
- Sealing Court Records in an Arizona Divorce
- Sell Home During Divorce in Arizona
- Selling Property During a Divorce in Arizona
- Served With Divorce Papers in Arizona
- Serving Divorce Papers by Publication in Arizona
- Should I Keep the House in a Divorce in Arizona
- Social Media Evidence in Divorce in Arizona
- Stop an Arizona Divorce
- Stop an Arizona Divorce if You Change Your Mind
- What Happens at a Resolution Management Conference in Arizona
- What Happens If the Divorce Case Goes to Trial in Arizona
- What Happens Temporary Orders Hearing in Arizona
- What is a Covenant Marriage in Arizona
- What is a Default Divorce in Arizona
- What is a Family Law Master in an Arizona Divorce Case
- What is a Preliminary Injunction in an Arizona Divorce
- What is a Temporary Orders Hearing in Arizona
- What is the Divorce Process in Arizona
- What Reasons Do I Need to Obtain a Divorce in a Covenant Marriage in Arizona
- What to do When Served with Divorce Papers in Arizona
- When Can I File For Divorce in Arizona
Chris Hildebrand wrote the information on this page about modifying a divorce decree in Arizona to ensure everyone has access to information about divorce laws in Arizona. Chris is a family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a divorce should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and actually caring about what his clients are going through.