Divorce is often a challenging and emotionally draining process. However, the challenges do not always end when the divorce decree is finalized. There may be times when circumstances change, and what was once a suitable arrangement may no longer meet the needs of one or both parties involved.
In this article, we’ll discuss post-divorce modifications, specifically in the context of custody and support agreements. We understand the complexities that can arise in these situations, and are here to guide those approaching this process.
Modifying Custody Arrangements
Custody arrangements are a crucial aspect of any divorce involving children. These agreements determine where the children will reside and how decisions regarding their upbringing will be made. Sometimes, changes in circumstances make it necessary to review the arrangement and make modifications.
Custody provisions of agreements are always subject to modification. That is because the court must protect and promote the best interests of the children and if the current arrangement is no longer in the children’s best interests, the arrangement may be modified. Examples of when modification may occur is a relocation of a parent, a change in the child’s needs, or a change in the parent’s ability to provide a stable and safe environment.
Mediation or Court: In some cases, both parents can agree to the modifications through mediation. If not, they may need to go to court where a judge will evaluate the situation and make a decision based on the child’s best interests. However, the court always has the authority to address custody if a claim is brought to the court’s attention.
Legal Representation: Consulting with a family law attorney is crucial during this process, as they can help one navigate the legal requirements and ensure that their interests are protected.
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Modifying Support Agreements
Child support and spousal support agreements are often set based on the financial circumstances of the parties involved at the time of the divorce. However, financial situations can change, requiring modifications.
Substantial Change in Finances: To modify support agreements, one will typically need to show a substantial change in financial circumstances. This can include a significant increase or decrease in income, job loss, or a change in the child’s needs. Child support provisions of agreements are always modifiable by the courts based upon a change in circumstances. Spousal support (interim agreements) and alimony may be modifiable if the agreement provides for modification.
Seek Mediation or Court Intervention: As with custody and visitation modifications, one may need to seek mediation or court intervention to modify support agreements. Keep in mind that court orders can be enforced, so it’s essential to follow the proper legal process.
Legal Representation: As with modifying custody arrangements, seeking the right representation from an experienced attorney is key.
Navigating post-divorce modifications can be a challenging process, but it is essential to ensure that the arrangements continue to meet the best interests of all parties involved. Whether it’s modifying custody arrangements or support agreements, understanding the legal process and seeking the right guidance is crucial.
Life changes, and it’s essential to address these changes within the bounds of the law. If you find yourself in this situation, our attorneys who are well-versed in divorce and all family law matters can help. Contact us to set up a consultation however it is most convenient for you—via telephone, video, or in person. Your children’s well-being, your financial stability, and your peace of mind may depend on it.
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