Most people believe that divorce judgments are final, and mostly, they are. However, courts have recognized that certain changes can occur during the years after a divorce that make it necessary to amend or modify the original judgment. What can and can’t be changed depends greatly on the matter at hand and the reason for requesting the changes, as well as what evidence exists to support these requests. Here’s what you need to know about modifications to divorce judgments.
Reasons a Judgment May Be Modified
A divorce judgment cannot be modified for just any reason. Typically, a modification is requested because there has been significant changes in one spouse’s income, but there are also other legitimate reasons for requesting a modification. Here are several common reasons one or both ex-spouses may want to make changes to their divorce agreement:
- One ex-spouse had a significant increase in their income and this would affect how much is paid in alimony or child support
- One ex-spouse had a significant decrease in their income and have been unable to meet alimony or child support obligations
- One ex-spouse wishes to relocate and the other ex-spouse shares custody or has visitation with their children
- The ex-spouse that receives alimony has remarried and the paying ex-spouse is requesting that alimony be terminated
- One ex-spouse is suspected of violence or neglect towards the children and visitation or custody arrangements need to be changed
- The children have experienced significant life changes, such as changes in health or education, and new arrangements need to be made regarding how decisions will be reached between the ex-spouse
When to Contact a Divorce Attorney
If you have experienced a life change that would require the modification of your original divorce agreement, it’s important that you reach out to a divorce lawyer as soon as possible. Failure to abide by the orders set forth in your agreement before having them changed, even if you have a legitimate reason for not being able to adhere to the orders, can be detrimental. For example, if you are no longer able to pay child support due to a change in your income, it’s critical to contact an attorney who can help you request a modification before you pay less on your child support or stop paying it at all.
Rita T. Jerejian, LLC can assist you in requesting a modification from the court. Call for a consultation today at (201) 489-7714.