The journey through life brings constant change, and change often affects the terms of a divorce agreement. Is some new development in your life or that of your spouse or child leading you back to court?

Requesting modification

If you and your former spouse are in agreement about the proposed modification to your divorce agreement, a judge usually approves the change, unless he or she opposes the reason for the request. However, if you and your ex do not agree, your attorneys may be able to help you resolve your issues outside of court; otherwise, you should prepare to go before the judge. Keep in mind that the court may not be open to a change in your original property settlement agreement, but could consider a change to your child custody and visitation agreement. Your reason for requesting the change must be reasonable, and the court must find that it is in the best interest of your son or daughter.

Reasons for change

There are several reasons that you may request a modification to your original child custody or visitation agreement, including:

  •         You have a new job in a different city and wish to take your child along when you relocate
  •         Your child is older now, and his or expenses are increasing
  •         You are having trouble controlling your teenage child and believe that he or she should now live with the other parent
  •         You believe that your child is not receiving proper supervision when visiting the other parent’s home
  •         You believe that your child is being abused by the other parent

Child support issues

Many requests for child support modification begin when a parent either loses a job or experiences a temporary reduction in salary and requests lower child support payments. The judge will want proof to back up the request, which may include producing check stubs or medical records in the event that a loss of work is due to an injury or another health issue. The court recognizes that change happens to everyone, and if you have a reasonable modification petition, the judge will likely grant your request.