Can I Modify a Divorce Agreement?

Couples and courtrooms base their divorce decisions on the realities of the moment. As life moves on, these agreements may no longer be relevant.

If any portion of your original divorce agreement is no longer viable, you may be eligible for a post-decree modification. These are any changes a court makes to a divorce ruling. If you created a divorce agreement alongside your spouse, you always have the right to renegotiate.

Here are some divorce decrees that you can alter along with reasons to do so.

Spousal Support Modifications

Spousal support agreements generally assume that your financial situation will remain stable. We all know, however, how much your finances can change overnight. If you lost your job or were demoted, and the change wasn’t your fault, you may be eligible for a support alteration.

Many forms of spousal support are immediately canceled if your spouse remarries. Some spousal support rulings don’t have this provision. However, if your spouse remarries, their finances have technically changed, and you may still be able to use this fact to lower your payments.

Child Support Modifications

Child support rulings are based on each spouse’s income. If that income changes dramatically, it may be time to review your original agreement.

These changes can come from either direction. If your ex makes far more money, you may be able to have your payments modified. Alternatively, if you make far less money, you can make the same request.

A remarriage could also affect child support payments. When your former spouse gets remarried, this action directly affects their finances. You could make a sound legal argument that they make more money now, and you should be able to pay less in support.

Child Custody Modifications

There are several reasons to change custody and visitation rulings. Sometimes you may need to ask for more time with the kids, and sometimes you need less.

If either parent moves, for instance, this has a direct impact on their ability to see the kids. A closer move gives them more opportunity to be with the children, but moving further away does the opposite.

If either parent remarries, this can affect custody as well. One parent may need less time with the kids to focus on their new marriage. Another parent may be able to see the kids more when they remarry. They will have another adult helping out, making it easier for them to have the kids for longer stretches.

Even changes within the relationship can affect custody. Perhaps you and your child have grown closer, and you both want more time together.

Getting Help from an Attorney

Whenever you must modify a divorce agreement, you should involve an attorney to help. This is especially true if you must return to court, or if your ex is being uncooperative.

Even if you have a good relationship with your former spouse, legal help will be invaluable. Mediation, for instance, can help make sure you make all necessary decisions together. It can also help make sure you don’t miss any crucial decisions along the way.

For help with post-decree modifications or with creating a new divorce agreement, contact our firm today. You can call us at (801) 901-7046 or reach us online.