The need to modify a divorce settlement agreement can be inevitable as the former spouses, and their children, experience life changes following the divorce. The family law process provides a process and a framework to help divorcing couples modify child custody, child support and other divorce-related concerns.
Post-divorce modifications and how to obtain them
Post-divorce modifications may be possible for concerns including property division, spousal support (alimony), child support, child custody arrangements and visitation. Either spouse can request a modification. To do so, they will need to file a motion to modify their divorce judgment that will need to be served upon the other former spouse.
The former spouse requesting the post-divorce modification will need to demonstrate a significant change in circumstances to justify the modification. For the modification to be warranted, either the parent or child will need to experience a significant change in circumstances. An example of a significant change in circumstances could be the loss of a job which may be a reason to modify child support. The former spouse will need to be able to provide documentation for the change in circumstances.
Child custody may also be modified based on a significant change in circumstances. An example of a significant change in circumstances that might occasion a change in child custody could include parental relocation. Child custody modifications, like all child custody determinations, are based on what is in the best interests of the child.
Taking a post-divorce modification to court
During a hearing before the family law court, the former spouse requesting the modification can demonstrate why it is needed. If the other former spouse is opposing the modification, they can provide their reasons why. If the former spouses agree to the modification, they can let the family court know that as well. Divorced parents are encouraged to work together whenever possible. When they cannot reach an agreement, the family law process can help them sort out their concerns including any modification requests.