Your divorce became final two years ago. While the proceedings took emotional, physical and financial tolls, you are holding your own. In your rearview mirror are matters on child custody, visitation, alimony and division of assets. It is time to carry on with the next segment in your life.
However, as life goes on for you as well as your former spouse, changes gradually occur. They may be a significant raise at work, the loss of a job or changes in your child’s educational needs. When these changes happen, your divorce agreement must get a second look. Post-divorce modifications are necessary to fend off any additional disputes.
Boost in income, loss of job, remarriage, change in child’s needs
Here are some of the obvious reasons for modifications to take place in divorce agreements:
- When a former spouse receives a significant boost in income after a work-related promotion or taking a new position at a different company. You deserve your fair share to help pay for child support and alimony.
- When either former spouse receives a substantial inheritance. This matter could affect child support and alimony.
- A drop in income is another. Perhaps a former spouse lost his or her job and wound up accepting a position at a much lower salary or wage.
- A remarriage requires careful review of the divorce decree, potentially leading to modifications or even the possibility that certain payments end altogether. This situation may affect alimony, but likely not child support. A remarriage also may lead to changes in the child custody agreement.
- Changes in your children’s needs. An increase in health care and education costs prompt revisiting the divorce agreement. Perhaps the child needs braces, has additional school recreational costs or even needs money to pay for college.
- When the custodial parent chooses to relocate, this situation will affect child custody and visitation matters. Courts thoroughly review whether an out-of-state move is in the best interest of the child. In some cases, custody may shift to the non-relocating parent.
Such modifications are either temporary or permanent. Divorce decrees are rarely set in stone. As you can see, when significant changes surface in the lives of former spouses, post-divorce modifications get careful consideration.