A final divorce judgment doesn’t always mean you will no longer encounter trouble with the divorce settlement agreement. Everything changes after you decide to live a life without the physical presence of your spouse. Since things are unpredictable, there might be a time when you’ll have to revisit the agreement made in your divorce because of some major change in circumstances.
Understanding Post Divorce Modification
It is not uncommon for former partners to seek change to a prior decree concerning support and custody issues. Your or your spouse may be experiencing sudden changes in circumstance such as medical emergencies that permanently or temporarily affect their work, job relocation offers, or a significant shift in earnings. This will cause the aspects of your divorce to undergo some modification.
You can ask for agreement modification mere days after rendering the judgment or many years later. You can seek to alter one individual paragraph or the agreement in its entirety. This solely depends on your own reasons for seeking a modification as well as the circumstances.
Common Reasons for Post Modification
Modifications of child support, child custody, and spousal support are allowed under the family code. There might be other options for resolving specific property division issues after a divorce though.
- Child Support: The court will only allow modification when you present a material, unanticipated, and substantial change in circumstances. These include a child with a disability that has an upsurge his or her needs and require extra costs, a child with changing medical issues, a job loss resulting in less income, and a range of other reasons.
- Child Custody: A custodial parent may have the need to move out or relocate to another state or city, which shows a significant change in circumstances. You should be able to demonstrate this or other continuing and significant change of circumstances that warrant a modification in child custody when requesting for a post-modification.
- Spousal Support: Such cases involve a job loss, unemployment, significant disability or injury, remarriage, or an adjustment to the income of a spouse that justifies an end or reduction to the alimony payments. A party requesting for post modification must demonstrate a material and substantial change in circumstances.
- Parenting Time and Visitation: If you are making a petition for modification, it is required to prove to continue and significant change of circumstances that warrant a parenting time and visitation modification. This may include change for requests as children age, a lack of exercising parenting time by another parent, or other events. Modification of physical custody, legal custody, possession, and visitation can be difficult to handle alone, thereby, consulting a licensed family law attorney who is familiar with how modifications work within your area is both necessary and critical.
Relocation Affects Parenting Time and Shared Custody
One common issue related to post modification is the relocation of a custodial parent. Numerous factors are being considered if you contest the relocation or your ex-partner is entitled to visitation.
- The child’s age, needs, and development
- The length, nature, and degree of the engagement of the child with each parent, significant persons, and siblings
- The existing employment and economic circumstances of each parent
- The feasibility of maintaining the current relationship of the child with each parent and any other significant people
- The wishes of the child if they’ve reached the right maturity level and age
Always remember that the child’s best interests will still be favored in the court. Good advice by a qualified family law attorney is what you need.
The court will not only base your modification on your tangible evidence but your behavior, too. As much as possible, a good behavior must include an earnest attempt to resolve the grievance or dispute politely by correspondence. Do not take relatively premature or minor complaints to court, otherwise, the sympathies of the court could lie on the other side.
Seek Professional Assistance
It is never easy and recommended to request such major changes to child support, visitation, or spousal support modifications alone. Whether it is a child support, child custody, spousal support, or parenting time and visitation that forced you to file a petition for post modification, make sure to have a reliable family lawyer to represent you in the court.
Most likely, tensions are running high. Thus, a professional can help. A family law attorney will ensure to take appropriate steps needed to prove your needs, solidify a workable long-term plan, as well as protect your interests and rights as a parent.