4 Situations Where You Might Need to Modify Your Divorce or Custody Agreement
Oct. 20, 2018
When it comes to divorce agreements there are times when it makes sense to go back to court and formally modify the terms of your arrangements for parenting time and legal decision making. For simple things, like swapping weekends, there is usually no need to make things formal as the time and effort involved to have the Court sign off on that kind of change outweighs the potential benefit. But as your personal circumstances change, you may find that a more formal change is appropriate. Of course, this will depend on a number of factors. Here are four situations where you might need to modify your divorce agreement.
1. Child’s Needs Changing
Children are one of the most important factors in any divorce and must be accounted for in the divorce agreement. If your children are still in school, you and your co-parent must establish a proper schedule that meets their educational needs while still maintaining a functional relationship with their parents. You should be looking at how the children are doing in school, the availability of programs that they are interested in, participation in extracurricular activities such as sports, and even graduation, as potential points in time in which a modification might be helpful or necessary.
If you or co-parent decide to relocate to a new town, whether it’s for job purposes or simply the desire to re-establish yourself, you will likely need to reconsider your divorce agreement if you have minor children involved. If you are the primary residential parent you will probably need to ask the Court’s permission to be able to move. And if you are not the primary residential parent you will be able to move but that move might change how you’d like to spend your parenting time.
3. Change in Income
Spousal support agreements can change when there is a significant change in income. If the spouse providing alimony experiences a major decrease in their income, the court can allow a certain reduction in the amount he or she pays as spousal support. Similarly, a significant increase in income can lead to increased responsibility for support. It is critical to look at the terms of your agreement to determine whether these situational changes might apply.
When it comes to child support in Arizona, if either party’s income changes by 15% the parties can request a reevaluation of the support paid or received. This might happen when parents change jobs, are laid off, or when a commission based job experiences a change in circumstances.
There are also special cases where the terms of property division may need to be changed, especially in cases where fraud was involved during the initial allocation of assets. Your attorney can help you determine whether your situation qualifies for a change in this part of your divorce agreement.
4. Health Complications
A sudden change in health, particularly with long-term implications, can also warrant a change in your divorce agreement. For instance, if you or your partner contracts a terminal illness, you may need to make certain adjustments to spend quality time with your kids. The court may also consider whether your condition is too complicated to bear the responsibility of child care, and then recommend new parenting arrangements.
Ideally, any major life change can cause an existing divorce agreement to cease being relevant to the parties involved. When this happens, you can count on Tad Davis for legal counsel and guidance on how to make the necessary adjustments. Give us a call.