When to seek post-divorce modifications

Tuition at your middle-school-aged child’s private school increased. And the costs associated with his school-related sports activities also have placed a damper on your wallet, not to mention the braces and orthodontic bills that will be part of your life for the next two years.

There does not seem to be an end in sight regarding expenses for your growing son. As a single parent, you become nervous and uncertain. The money worries just intensify. This scenario represents a clear-cut time when your divorce agreement gets a second look. Post-divorce modifications are called for in situations like yours. The same goes for circumstances such as loss of income, relocation and the substance abuse of one of the parents.

Changes in a child’s needs, boost in income

There are many scenarios in which divorce agreements must undergo additional scrutiny, especially when your child’s best interests and needs are not met. Significant changes in the lives of the parents and children call for additional scrutiny to a divorce agreement, potentially leading to post-divorce modifications.

Here are some of the circumstances that can lead to changes in a divorce agreement:

  • A significant income boost: A former spouse’s salary raise or income increase at a new company calls for some modifications to a divorce agreement. Child support payments likely will increase because you and your child deserve it.
  • A drop in income: If one spouse loses his or her job and can no longer meet child or spousal support payments, then changes are necessary. And if the spouse accepts a position with lower wages, the chance for modifications are good, too.
  • A change in the child’s needs: This could include education-, recreation- and health-related costs to your child. New braces are costly and so can an education at a private school.
  • Permanent disabilities: If either the parents or the child succumb to a debilitating injury, health care costs and other related expenses are certain to affect their lives personally and financially.
  • Matters related to mental illness: If a parent has a mental illness, it affects child custody matters.
  • Alcohol or substance abuse: A household led by an addict proves potentially dangerous for the children living there.
  • Relocation: A planned move out of state may affect child custody and visitation matters. Courts wonder whether such a move is in the best interest of the child. In some cases, the non-relocating parent could gain custody.

Post-divorce modifications serve to balance the financial and personal changes that occur in the lives of the parents and children. When certain events lead to changes, it is time to revisit that divorce agreement.