Final Decree

The dissolution of marriage and orders contained in the Final Decree are final in thirty (30) days from the entry of the Final Decree. Your remedies to change the orders in the Final Decree are to file a Motion to Alter or Amend the Judgment within thirty (30) days, or notice of appeal of the court’s decision to the Court of Appeals.

If you wish to appeal any of the orders of the court, you have thirty (30) days from the date of the Final Decree or the order on the Motion to Alter or Amend to file a notice of appeal. Failure to file one of these pleadings within thirty (30) days from the date the Decree was entered causes your right to appeal to be permanently lost. If you believe that you may wish to appeal, please contact me immediately by telephone and also schedule an appointment so that we will have ample time to evaluate the appeal and to prepare the necessary paperwork before the deadline. If you tell me less than ten (10) days before the appeal deadline runs, I may not be able to represent you properly. Orders of the court of division of property are not modifiable at any future date. They can be changed only by amending the Final Decree, an appeal to the Court of Appeals, or by written agreement signed by both parties and filed with the court as an order.

Orders of the Court for alimony futuro, rehabilitative alimony (but not alimony in solido), child support, custody, and visitation may be modified upon a showing of a substantial change of circumstances. Any modification of these orders must be done prospectively. This means that the court can only modify these orders from the date of the filing of a petition to do so forward. The court cannot retroactively modify any court orders. Any agreements to modify these orders must be in writing, executed by both parties and entered by the court as an order or such agreement is not binding.

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