Law & Daily Life - The FindLaw Life, Family and Workplace Law Blog

Can a Divorce Settlement Be Changed?

Just getting you and your ex to agree to the terms of your divorce settlement was tough enough. And you thought once that was finished, you were done dealing with the divorce. But life happens, circumstances change, and now one of you wants to go back and change the terms of your divorce agreement.

As unappealing as it may sound, those changes may be necessary. But the process for making those changes may differ, depending on whether you're altering the terms of spousal support, child support, or child custody. Here are the key issues for each when considering changes to a divorce settlement:

1. 5 Potential Ways to Reduce Spousal Support

Often in a marriage, one spouse will take on a bulk of the income earning. And generally, exes who may have taking on a less financially-focused role in the family become more independent after a divorce, earning more of their own income. So, what does that mean for spousal support or alimony agreements? These are the most often divorce terms modified following a settlement, and here are five ways that happens.

2. Life Changes: Seeking a Child Support Modification

As child get older, and especially when they reach the age of majority, their child support needs change (as do those of the custodial parent). You may have included some terms in your divorce settlement to cover child support after a child turns 18, or some that include support or payments for college. Here's how to modify them if other life changes happen.

3. How to Modify a Custody Order

Whether one parent is fighting for joint custody or for sole custody, divorce settlement terms relating to child custody can be the most hotly contested, and the ones that parents will want to change the most. You might be able to modify a child custody order, but it may not be easy.

You may need to file an appeal or motion in court to modify a divorce judgment. And even if you don't, you may want to consult with an experienced attorney before making changes to your divorce settlement.

Related Resources: