Post Divorce Modifications

Young Family - mother and babyIt’s common that after a divorce the parties involved come to verbal understandings that are outside of the legally binding agreement. The only lawful and enforceable way to change the terms of a divorce settlement is through a court-approved, post-decree modification. Too often, ex-spouses mistakenly believe that if they both verbally agree to a change in conservatorship, or child support they can’t be held responsible for any failure to follow the court’s order. However, any deviation from a divorce decree that is not court-approved is not enforceable. If a custodial parent agrees to let a non-custodial parent pay reduced or no child support or, a non-custodial parent takes primary custody of a child, parents could find themselves facing contempt of court and/or jail time.

Amanda Thornton Attorney At Law works closely with families in petitioning the court in regard to post-divorce modifications of custody, spousal support (alimony) and child support. Even if your ex-spouse is opposed to a modification, the court will consider the facts involved and make its decision accordingly.

If job loss, illness, or an employment opportunity in another state has created the need to change the terms of your divorce settlement, it’s not wise to trust verbal agreements, you need to contact a competent family law attorney like Amanda Thornton and go over how legally address changes and modifications.

Changes in Circumstances and Post-Divorce Modifications

The following is a list of the most common modifications Ms. Thornton deals with:

  • Child custody arrangements
  • Visitation schedules
  • Child support payments
  • Spousal maintenance and alimony

Reasons Recognized by the Court Post Divorce Modifications

It’s not uncommon for job loss or illness to adversely affect someone’s ability to make child support or spousal maintenance payments. In such cases, preparing medical records, financial information, and employment history may convince the court to modify child support and spousal maintenance obligations.

In the case of child support, failure to obtain a court-sanctioned modification could result in your being responsible for any amount in arrears, with interest. Additionally, in order to collect back-owed child support, your wages could be garnished and you could be sentenced to jail. Even if you have a signed statement from your ex-spouse agreeing to a temporary decrease or halt in child support payments, the court most likely will not enforce the agreement: child support is not intended for your ex-spouse but for your children.

Don’t make the mistake of allowing verbal post divorce decree changes to cause you grief, money or worse your freedom. If any of the aforementioned changes have occurred between you and you former spouse, you should contact Attorney Amanda Thornton immediately to go over your options and make certain the modifications made are legally binding.

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