One of the few certainties in life is that it is always subject to change. If you have experienced a substantial change in your life, it only seems fair that your divorce agreement should be modified to reflect your new reality.
It is important to keep in mind that not every aspect of a divorce decree is subject to modification. You should never decide to change the terms of your agreement without seeking court approval. Doing so can cause you significant legal headaches down the road.
What can I change in my divorce decree?
Certain terms of a finalized divorce decree, such as asset division, are rarely changeable. However, other terms may be modified, including those involving:
- Spousal support: A substantial change in income may require an adjustment to alimony or spousal support payments. Remarriage, job loss, or a shift to a job that pays less are some of the common reasons why a person may seek a change to an order for spousal support. If an order for alimony is permanent, a change can be much more difficult.
- Child support: Like spousal support, changes to an order for child support are income-based. An upward or downward adjustment may be necessary, depending on the circumstances of your situation.
- Child custody and visitation: A parent may seek a child custody modification if they intend to move a great distance away. Whether the relocation is job-related or for any other purpose, you should always seek court approval for a change in child custody terms.
Whether you are the one who is seeking a modification or if you wish to challenge the reason for a modification request, it is important to seek advice from a skilled professional. This can provide you with the information you need to make the best decision for moving forward.