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Eric D. Beal

Eric Beal’s Answers

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  • My ex is trying to modify divorce decree to change my custody of kids. What am I facing?

    We finalized our custom decree November, 2014. I have 48% custody of kids and we share expenses. All has worked well and I pay all my kid-related expenses. No trouble sharing time with kids. I have no crim. history or violent past. I had some fina...

    Eric’s Answer

    I'm sorry that you're having to deal with this, but I'll try to give you an answer to your main question: What am I facing (when my ex files for modification of a divorce decree)?

    I don't want to frighten you, but I also want to tell you the truth. You could be facing a very simple misunderstanding, that once cleared up, will "go away." Or, you could be facing a major battle that could end in a full blown custody jury trial.

    If your ex has filed and had you served, you need to talk to an attorney as soon as possible, to find out your options and develop a game plan. A great deal of both -- options and game plan -- will depend upon what your ex has done so far.

    If you have been served with a Notice or Order to Appear for a Temporary Orders hearing, time is of the essence. If, on the other hand, your ex has simply filed and told you about it, there may not be as much urgency.

    It is possible that your ex either has not pled the proper grounds, or that the grounds pled can be easily disproved, and that the matter can get dismissed by the court quickly.

    Often it is important to strategize with your attorney to determine what kind of counterclaim you can make. It is generally dangerous to go into court with a opponent that has nothing to lose.

    For now, here is your to-do list:

    1. Try not to stress
    2. Find an experienced attorney
    3. Try to determine exactly what your ex is wanting -- really, not necessarily what's in the pleading
    4. Determine your options
    5. Develop a game plan

    Good luck!

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