A Judgment for Dissolution or an Order is a living document that must be revised or modified when circumstances change. Sometimes a change of circumstance occurs years after the final Judgment or Order is made. The Court will modify the Judgment or Order as long as the change in circumstance justifies a change in the Judgment or Order. There are a variety of reasons for requesting a modification.
Ideally, the modification can be agreed upon by both sides and filed with the Court as a stipulation. If an agreement cannot be reached, the person requesting the change needs to file a Motion with the court. The following are some of the most common reasons for seeking a modification of visitation or support.
Having Second Thoughts
Often during the initial divorce proceedings emotions are running high and this can lead to knee-jerk reactions while trying to settle on important issues like custody. As time passes and both sides settle down, one spouse may decide that having the other parent more involved in the child’s life would be best for all concerned.
The Child Support or Alimony You Are Due Is Not Enough
Due to certain situations, including but not limited to being laid off or being in an accident, you may find that the child support you have been granted in the divorce is no longer enough. In this case, you may need to file for a modification to increase the amount of alimony or child support so that it suits your current circumstances.
You Are Unable to Afford Child Support or Alimony Payments
Similar to the previous scenario, there may come a time when you cannot afford to pay the designated amount of alimony or child support due to being laid off, an injury, or the development of a disability. Not paying child support or alimony can result in legal action so it is in your best interest to seek a modification.
A Child Is Heading off to College
Sometimes the divorce is filed when children are very young and the prospect of the child attending college is not appropriately accounted for. Attending college is an added financial burden and is often exorbitantly expensive, so modification may be necessary in order to come to a fair decision of how much each parent will contribute to the cost of higher education.
You Need to Move Far Away
Whether it is relocating for a job opportunity or to take care of elderly parents, moving great distances usually necessitates the revisiting and renegotiation of a child custody agreement. Moving with a child without modifying the divorce could lead to serious legal action, potentially even including kidnapping charges.
There is a variety of reasons that a divorce agreement may need modification and understanding the need when these situations arise is vital. For any questions about divorce or modification contact the Law Offices of Kayleene H. Writer.