When your divorce agreement is finalized, it may feel like a firm order that is unable to be changed or modified. However, this is not actually the case. In life, things change. If you, your former spouse, or your child have changed significantly, so should your divorce agreement as it pertains to support. Here are several situations where you can modify a divorce agreement.
- You or your former spouse have a significant change in income.
If either you or your former spouse has a significant change in income, the party that would benefit from a change might request a modification to the divorce agreement. This means if you have been receiving money from your former spouse as spousal support, and you get a job with a larger salary, your former spouse might file a modification request asking to pay less money.
- You or your former spouse are suffering from a disability.
Accidents, illness, and age can create disabilities. If something has happened and you now suffer from a disability, you may be able to modify the child support in your divorce agreement. Under this new situation, you might be eligible for more money per month from your former spouse, if the child has extraordinary needs, and you are financially no longer able to meet those needs.
Similarly, if you were paying money to your former spouse for child support, and you now have a disability that prevents you from working, you should file to modify your original divorce agreement. Your changes in ability and employment might impact the amount of money you should pay each month.
- Your child now resides with one parent permanently.
Sometimes when custody is awarded to both parents, one parent ends up shirking their responsibilities. What was once a fight to have custody every other weekend is now a continuous message that the other parent is unable to take the child on the assigned weekend. When this happens, the child ends up living with one parent permanently. Because the divorce agreement was written with the idea that the two parents would share custody and expenses, a modification may be warranted.
- Your child now requires more money per month to live.
As your child grows, his or her needs may change. Perhaps your child has become active in sports, needs a tutor, or has changed to a more expensive school. Whatever the reason, when your child’s expenses increase, it’s important to modify your divorce agreement to reflect the changes.
- Your child says he or she wants to permanently live with you.
If your child is 12 or older and he or she wants to permanently live with you, you need to modify your divorce arrangement. When your child is old enough to have a say in where he or she lives, it’s appropriate to let the child speak to a judge. As with other situations, if your child changes from living part-time to full-time with you, this can mean an increase in financial support from your former spouse.
- The parent who was named as the “primary caregiver” of your child turns over the responsibilities to you.
If something has happened and the parent who was named as the “primary caregiver” turns over childcare responsibilities to you, you will want to modify your original divorce agreement. It’s important for you to file a document with the court so you can be recognized as the child’s new “primary caregiver.” Along with this change in title, the court will want to ensure you have enough money to care for your child. This can mean money for your child when you previously didn’t receive any financial help from your former spouse.
Do You Need to Modify Your Original Divorce Agreement?
If you need to modify your Texas divorce decree, Alsandor Law Firm can help. Our family law attorneys are available to answer any questions you may have. Then, we can help you file the correct paperwork and represent you to ensure you get the results you seek. Give us a call today at (713) 600-1236 to schedule an in-person meeting, or you can also contact us online.