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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.