Let’s say you got a divorce ten years ago when your child was two years old, and now you and your son’s or daughter’s situation has changed. Perhaps ten years ago, your son was healthy and the normal amount of child support was sufficient to pay for his or her needs, but now your son has contracted a debilitating illness that is costly to treat. A divorce modification could be away for you to seek an increase in child support payments from you ex to help make financial ends meet.

If you have experienced a significant change in your or your family’s circumstances since the issuing of your divorce decree, you might be able to return to court and ask for a modification. In most cases, a divorce modification will not be approved for property division concerns, but parents might be able to gain approval for a modification relating to child custody, child support and visitation issues.

Before going to court to modify the divorce decree, however, parents may be able to reach an out-of-court agreement, which they would submit for approval to the court. A hearing might be necessary to make sure both you and your ex agree to the new agreed-upon terms. After the judge approves the new agreement, it will become legally enforceable as a binding court order.

An out-of-court divorce modification agreement is certainly preferred because it can save ex-spouses time and money, but if an agreement cannot be reached, spouses can file a motion for modification. The other spouse will have the opportunity to respond to the motion, and then a hearing will be held so that both parties can voice their arguments for or against modification. Finally, a judge will decide the matter by approving or denying the modification.

Need help with a divorce modification? The Law Office of Kevin L. Beard, PA, is here to help. We will review your matter to identify the most appropriate legal strategies for pursuing the divorce decree modification you desire.