You and your ex-spouse have gone through the entire process of getting a divorce. You split property, assets and made choices about child custody and support. You now live separate lives and follow the terms agreed upon in your divorce settlement. However, things can unexpectedly change after all is said and done.
There can be multiple reasons why a divorce settlement needs to be modified. In many cases, this can be done informally. However, informal changes may not be secure and enforceable. If you do not feel comfortable with that approach, you can change your divorce decree legally. This will ensure the changes will be recorded and followed by both parents.
The two main divorce decree modifications are:
1. Child support and custody change.
It may be necessary to change the amount of child support you either receive or pay. This could be a result from a change in income for the parent paying the support or if the parent receiving it needs additional funds. The child or children could also want to spend more time with one parent or another, or the parent without custody moves to a new location that is further away.
2. Spousal support change.
Like child support, this could change due to increased or decreased income. If you are the one receiving spousal support, you may get a job that provides enough income and you no longer need support from your ex-spouse.
Many changes to a divorce decree can be made informally without the need to go to court. Changes regarding money and support could also be made outside of court, but that could cause issues if there was a dispute between you and your ex-spouse. Receiving court approval for a change can give both parties peace of mind that the change will be enforced or legal action can be taken if requirements are not met.