When a marriage dissolves, it is up to the court to divide assets, liabilities, and responsibilities in a fair and equitable fashion. The court will take into account a variety of different factors, such as each spouse’s earning potential, current income, and the assets/liabilities each possessed prior to entering the marriage. After assessing these and other factors, the court will issue orders (such as spousal maintenance and child support) designed to meet each individual’s current needs.

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Modifying Your Divorce Agreement

As we all know, change is inevitable. If your divorce was finalized several years ago, the agreement outlined at the time may no longer be relevant to your situation today. In these instances, our Mid-Missouri family law firm is here to help you modify your divorce agreement.

There are three aspects of divorce agreements that are most frequently modified: spousal support, child support, and parenting plans. Modifying your divorce agreement once it has been finalized may be challenging, but there are certain circumstances where it may be justified based on post-divorce life changes.

Modifying Spousal Support

Spousal support (also called spousal maintenance or alimony) is a court order that requires a higher-earning spouse to provide financial assistance to a lower-earning spouse after the divorce. Some situations that may warrant a modification of this order include:

  • The higher-earning spouse losing his/her job, taking a position with a lower salary, or otherwise suffering a pay cut.
  • The lower-earning spouse taking a position with a greater salary.
Alternatively, the higher-earning spouse may take a position with an even greater salary, and the lower-earning spouse may wish to modify the agreement to change the amount of support he/she is receiving. 
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Modifying Child Support

Child support is court-ordered financial support that the noncustodial parent may be required to provide to the custodial parent. It is designed to offset the day-to-day costs of child-rearing, such as clothing, education, healthcare, dental care, food, etc. Situations wherein parents may try to modify a child support order could include:
  • A child is seriously injured or receives a medical diagnosis that will require extensive (and expensive) care.
  • The noncustodial parent has children with a new partner and wishes to devote more financial resources to the new family.
  • The custody agreement is changed such that the previously noncustodial parent now has full or partial custody.
Parents may also attempt to modify child support orders in the same situations as spouses may desire to modify spousal support orders, such as one spouse experiencing a significant change in his/her financial situation.
Modifying Parenting Plans
Parenting plans are the plans organized by the court that determine how child-rearing responsibilities will be divided between two parents who wish to separate. These plans encompass both custody and visitation issues. There are a number of situations that may spur one parent to modify the parenting plan, such as:
  • One parent becomes incapable of caring for the children due to mental or physical illness or disability.
  • One parent becomes unsafe for the children to be around due to drug, alcohol, or other substance abuse.
  • One parent is abusing the children.
  • One parent’s new spouse is not willing to raise the children in accordance with the other parent’s values.
  • One parent may wish to move out of state.
This is perhaps the most common type of post-divorce modification parents make, as parents’ and children’s needs both change countless times throughout the years. 
Contact Deputy & Mizell For Assistance
If an aspect of your current divorce arrangement is no longer working for you, contact our family law firm in Eldon, Lebanon, or Camdenton for assistance. You are not locked into your current situations. Our job is to help you find the options that will best work for your situation. 

Contact Deputy & Mizell to schedule your free consultation.

Contact Deputy & Mizell, LLC

Deputy & Mizell, Injury Attorneys near Lake of the Ozarks
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