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Three facts to know about post-divorce order modifications

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2021 | Family Law

It takes a lot of difficult and important work to get to the end of a Virginia divorce. When two individuals decide to end their marriage, they must find ways to divide their property, establish plans for caring for their kids, and set up financial duties to ensure that everyone has what they need for their post-divorce lives. The plans that they make during their divorce may serve their immediate post-divorce needs but may be insufficient to address changes in their lives that arise later on.

This post will address several important facts that individuals should understand about changing divorce orders and agreements once their divorces are finalized. No part of this post should be read as specific legal advice. When individuals have questions about the legal orders that dictate how their post-divorce lives will be managed, they can direct those inquiries to their trusted Virginia-based family law attorneys.

Fact #1: Different parts of divorce orders and agreements can be modified

Changes happen in everyone’s lives, and those changes can alter how individuals work within the terms of their divorce orders and agreements. When change happens, individuals may wish to change or modify their child support and custody, and spousal support orders. Alterations to these orders can arise from changes in the needs of children, changes in the incomes of parents, or other situations.

Fact #2: Modifications should be done through the courts

Changing a divorce order should be done through the courts. That is because an unofficially agreed to modification does not carry with it the authority or enforcement provisions of a court-ordered plan. For example, a person who agrees to pay their ex more money in support may later stop making the increased payments, and the recipient spouse may have no recourse for seeking the extra money if their agreement was not formalized.

Fact #3: Motions to modify divorce orders must be supported with evidence

Getting a divorce order changed is possible, but courts generally do not make modifications for unnecessary reasons. When a party wishes to make a change to their divorce decree, they must offer evidence of why the change is necessary. In their motion to modify, they and their attorney can build a case to explain why the existing order is no longer sufficient and why new circumstances, supported by evidence, should be considered for modifications.

Though an individual may want to informally change their divorce decree to avoid going to court, it can backfire on them of their former partner chooses not to honor their agreement. Modifications are important and often necessary. When a readers is ready to seek a modification to part of their existing divorce decree, they should seek the counsel of a trusted family law attorney for advice and counsel on where to start.