A divorce order often simply represents a snapshot in time for a divorcing couple. The decree will include terms for child support, spousal support and parenting time based on the needs of the family at that time. Significant life events, however, can necessitate a modification of the original order.
While municipalities might vary on certain factors, there are numerous reasons that divorced partners can modify a support order. In general, the reasons can be described as substantial changes of circumstance, and they can include:
- The parties have reconciled and are living together
- The income of one or both of the parties has greatly increased or decreased
- There are unusual and ongoing medical expenses that were not present at the time the order was made
- A child on the support order has turned 18 and is no longer in school
- The child has aged and there is an increase in expenses
- Alimony pendente lite or spousal support is no longer required based on the provisions in the divorce decree
Modifications exist because the court recognizes that features of a parent’s life do not remain static. From job loss to relocation, there are countless reasons why it might become necessary to modify a previously agreed-upon order.
It is not uncommon for couples to attempt to resolve matters on their own. They might verbally come to an agreement regarding a change in support without seeking any outside help. It is wise to consult with an experienced family law attorney for guidance. Following the proper legal process can ensure the modifications are binding and enforceable.