Your life can change quickly, and you may find that you need to adjust some aspect of your divorce agreement months or years later.
If your divorce judgment is no longer working for you, here is what you need to know about the common types of post-decree modifications.
Changes to child support
Courts generally follow guidelines in deciding the amount of child support you or your former spouse owe. Circumstances affecting the determination include the custody arrangement, income levels, health insurance costs, child care costs and other financial obligations.
When one of these factors changes, you may want to seek a modification to the child support order. For example, if you lose your job and need to take a position with a lower salary, you may be able to reduce your payments.
Alterations to custody arrangements
If you seek a post-judgment modification to a custody arrangement, you will need to demonstrate that the request is in the best interest of the child. Reasons to pursue a new custody agreement could include irresponsible behavior by one parent or a shift in the child’s individual needs.
Adjustments to spousal support
People often seek revisions to alimony when there is a significant increase or reduction in the financial circumstances of either person. A shift in income, loss of a business or receipt of a sizable inheritance could precipitate changes to spousal maintenance.
Additionally, you are no longer obligated to pay alimony if your former spouse remarries, dies or cohabitates with a new partner.
Modifying your divorce agreement can be a complicated process, and courts will only make adjustments when there is a good reason to do so. A legal advocate can help you understand whether you should pursue any changes.