Can the Decree ever be changed?

The property division, once agreed to and a mediated settlement agreement and/or final order is signed, is binding and final and the parties cannot later change their minds about the terms. If the Final Decree is ordered by the judge after a trial, it may be appealable, but only if the judge made legal errors that caused an unjust result or made decisions that were not supported by the evidence. Merely disagreeing with the judge’s order is not sufficient grounds to appeal it. If the decree is not appealed within 30 days, it is normally final as to the property division and cannot be changed.

However, all court orders regarding the children are subject to future change. Thus either party has the right to return to court later and ask that child support be increased or decreased or that visitation or custody be changed. But to do so, the party wanting the change must show the court that a significant change of circumstances has occurred that makes this change necessary or that the last order has become unworkable. Such changes are not made lightly by courts.