Many think that once their divorce is finalized, they can go back and modify terms they no longer agree with, such as the division of assets process. Unfortunately, this isn't the case for many agreements made in a divorce. Only a few things can be modified following your divorce: child custody, child support, and spousal support. This makes it essential to get it right the first time with an aggressive attorney. Our family law attorneys at DeTommaso Law Group, LLC share what you should understand about post-divorce modifications.
Once a divorce is finalized, it's assumed that both parties have agreed to the terms and conditions of the divorce. This means that if you want to change any aspect of your divorce decree through a post-divorce modification, you will need to prove the change is two things: a substantial and permanent change.
A "substantial and permanent change in circumstances" can be a job loss, a serious illness, or a change in custody arrangements. If you and your ex-spouse agree to the modification and, if applicable, it is in your child’s best interests, the court will likely approve it. However, you might need to prove to the court that the modification is necessary.
What Cannot Be Modified?
In general, any major term decided in your divorce cannot be modified. This includes things like the division of assets, debt assignment, and terms originally included in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. If you want to modify any of these terms, you must seek an appeal or motion for reconsideration for your divorce case.
It's important to note that modification is not always available for items such as spousal support. For example, if you and your ex-spouse have an ironclad prenuptial agreement that outlined spousal support, then it's unlikely that the court will modify the terms of that agreement. The same goes for any other divorce agreements that are considered to be "fair and equitable" at the time of the divorce.
An Aggressive Approach
With most terms in divorce unable to be modified after finalization, it is vital to have an aggressive attorney on your side during your divorce. Our family law attorneys have over 125 years of combined experience and will help seek a divorce agreement that meets your needs and protect your interests in case of any future changes.
If you're considering a divorce or considering a post-divorce modification, our family law attorneys can advocate for you. Schedule a consultation with a member of our team by calling (908) 274-3028.