Even carefully crafted divorce agreements and orders are not immune to life changes. An economic downturn or upturn, children growing up, new relationships and other circumstances may make it necessary to review agreed-upon support and custody arrangements. When that happens, it is important to understand how post-judgment modifications work.
Many aspects of a divorce agreement, parenting plan or financial support arrangement may be affected by a change in financial standing. Items subject to modification include the following:
- Child support - Circumstances that affect payment of financial support can involve either party. A parent paying child support who suffers a job loss or otherwise cannot pay an ordered amount of support may need to file for modification. Alternatively, child support expenses for extraordinary educational costs or other expenses may require an upward modification. A substantial change in economic circumstances is reason for the court to review and potentially modify a child support order.
- Relocation - Where children under age 18 live remains under the jurisdiction of the court. A noncustodial parent can file a request for modification when the custodial parent desires to relocate. When making a ruling, the court considers several statutory factors in determining what is in the best interests of the child.
- Custody - Changes in overall circumstances, the age of the children and other factors may affect parenting time schedules or custody arrangements. When significant changes arise, parents can apply for a modification to the existing plan.
- Alimony - An inability to pay alimony because of a job loss, disability or other reason can make it necessary to file for modification of a spousal support order. Conversely, if the individual receiving payments experiences a significant financial gain or remarries, the spousal support could be reduced or eliminated.
When circumstances change significantly, a skilled divorce attorney helps you make corresponding alterations to your custody, child support or spousal support arrangement. If an existing plan no longer fits the circumstances, consult a qualified lawyer in Connecticut.