Changes To Your Divorce After Settlement: What You Should Know

Posted on: 1 September 2018

Most people think that once the divorce is final, that's the last they will have to worry about it. In many cases, this is true. However, there are some situations that will warrant working with your divorce attorney to revisit that divorce settlement, either due to problems after the fact or a change in circumstances. Understanding what kinds of things can be changed, why they might have to change, and what you should do about them can help you be prepared if you face a situation like this.

What Types of Things Might Need to Be Changed After Settlement?

There are several elements of the divorce decree that can be subject to changes if the situation changes between you and your former spouse. Here are some of the most likely ones:

Alimony Order: Even if you did not seek alimony in the initial divorce, that doesn't mean it couldn't become a factor later. In fact, sometimes you can go back and request alimony after the divorce has been settled. In most courts, a decree that waives alimony cannot be altered after the fact, but in many courts, if you can show a substantial change in your living circumstances, such as a layoff or something similar that was unforeseen, you may be eligible to have alimony added or changed after the fact.

Child Custody And Support: Regardless of a change in circumstances, you can typically have child support evaluated and adjusted every few years. In those situations, it's a timely review, and the support may be modified based on economic changes. However, you also have the option to have it reviewed and altered if there has been a significant change in your or your former spouse's income or living situation at any time after the order is issued. Custody can also be re-evaluated either due to agreement between you as the parents, a drastic change in the child's living environment, or the child's preference — if he or she is old enough to decide in the eyes of the court.

Settlement Disputes: If either party in the divorce doesn't hold up to their end of any terms in the divorce settlement, you can take it back to court at any time. Whether it's part of a payment arrangement that they fail to meet, transportation for visitation, relocation, or any other terms, you can have the courts intervene to enforce the terms of the decree or alter them if necessary.