After you execute a divorce/marital settlement agreement and time elapses, it may be common for things in your life, and the life of your ex-spouse and children, to change. Often a person’s financial and personal circumstances change. People begin new jobs, they leave old ones, and they may relocate. They may even remarry or start new families. When a person’s circumstances change significantly, that person may need to modify the terms or provisions of a divorce/marital settlement agreement relating to child custody, child support, or spousal support/alimony in order to adequately reflect those changes.
Every state has its own procedures and rules for each step of the divorce process, including post order or decree modification. Pennsylvania courts always have the ability to modify child custody provisions in a divorce/marital settlement agreement. Furthermore, court may grant modifications to provisions relating to child support, spousal support, and/or alimony when one party experiences a substantial and material change in circumstances and/or the agreement provides for modification of such provisions. A modification is the legal process of altering an agreement entered into by the parties and/or an order issued by a court. Below are some of the common circumstances that might allow your divorce settlement to be considered for modification:
- Income Status: If your income, or your former spouses’ income, increased or decreased substantially because of a promotion or unemployment, it may be possible for you to obtain a change in support or alimony payment amounts.
- Living Arrangements: If your former spouse is moving out of state, has remarried, or lives with someone who is negatively influencing your children, you may be able to alter your custody and visitation terms.
- Child Care: If your former spouse is abusing alcohol or drugs, working overly long hours, or engaging in other behavior that negatively affects the well-being of your child, you may be able to modify the terms of your child custody or support arrangement. You may also be able to secure a modification if you have personal issues that you have resolved by completing treatment, changing your living circumstances, or taking other steps to correct the objectionable behavior.
There are many different circumstances that can cause one party of a support order to request a modification. If you are a part of a divorce settlement, and you have experienced changes that make your settlement unreasonable, a modification may be something that you can and should consider for your well-being and the well-being of your children.
At Wilder Mahood McKinley & Oglesby, we assist clients throughout western Pennsylvania in seeking and securing these kinds of post-divorce modifications to court orders. Through negotiations and court proceedings, our experienced family lawyers can help you reach a balance between your legal responsibilities and your personal and financial freedoms. If you have questions about your options for modifications or enforcement, please contact our Pittsburgh divorce modifications attorneys online or by calling 412-261-4040.
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