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Time for a Change: When to Modify Your Divorce Agreement

| Jul 25, 2016 | Firm News

Anyone who has gone through a divorce knows that it is not something that you want to do again. The fact is, however, that whether it is a judge that dictates the terms of the divorce or the spouses who come up with the terms themselves, there is no way to perfectly plan and account for everything the future will bring. There are times when it becomes necessary to revisit and modify one or more aspects of the agreement.

Below we have outlined some of the most common scenarios which may require you to pursue a post-judgment modification to match the changing circumstances of your life.

Dramatic Changes in Income

If you have lost a job or been forced to take a significant pay cut, it may become necessary to modify things like child support or spousal support. Whether you are the one paying these forms of support or you are receiving them, a dramatic change in income can be a valid reason to seek a modification. If you know your income is going to be changing, or it has already changed, it is best to begin seeking a divorce agreement modification as quickly as possible to avoid potential problems down the road.

Changes in Medical Needs

If you or your children develop some sort of medical condition which requires significant and ongoing care, this may necessitate a modification of your original divorce judgment. For example, if your child were in an accident which led to a long-term disability, you may require an increase in child support from your ex in order to provide the child with the medical care he or she requires.

Moving a Significant Distance

For couples with minor children, most divorce agreements (and certain state statutes) prevent either parent from moving more than a set number of miles away from the other parent without prior agreement. If you are looking to move a significant distance for work or other reasons, you will want to seek a modification as quickly as possible. Even if your ex-spouse has agreed to let you move, it is essential to get the modification completed to avoid the risk of significant legal problems. An illegal relocation without a modification could potentially even be interpreted as kidnapping.

Any Type of Abuse

If your child is in danger of physical, verbal, or emotional abuse when in contact with your ex, a modification becomes extremely important. Whether your ex has become abusive, or they started a new relationship with someone who is a danger to your child, you will want to act fast. Filing for a modification of your divorce agreement can allow you to legally cut off parenting time (though you may want to pursue a restraining order in the meantime). If you simply stop allowing your child to go to your ex’s home, you could face legal issues yourself, which would be counterproductive. Of course, anytime there is abuse, the police should be notified immediately.

Work with an Attorney

As you can imagine, there are dozens of different reasons why it may become necessary to seek a post-judgment modification of your divorce agreement. Whenever you need to update the terms of your divorce, you will want to work with an experienced family law attorney to help ensure everything goes smoothly. Contact the law office of Rotella & Hernandez today to set up a consultation, discuss your options, and get the ball rolling on your modification.