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Can you change the determinations made in a divorce if circumstances change?

Question Detail

If someone uses the same divorce attorney and the divorce becomes final, can the terms be changed later? For instance, they said they would share custody of the children, but every time it’s my brother’s turn to have the kids for the weekend, his ex-wife comes up with a reason why she needs to keep them. Can he get custody in writing even though the divorce is already final? Also, his child and alimony payments were determined on his last two years of work. He has since lost his job and the ex-wife makes more than he does. Can you and how do you adjust the required monthly payments? He “owes” her $5000/month but doesn’t have a job. How is he supposed to pay this? Thank you for any help you can provide. Signed, a worried sister.

Answer

This is something that can be easily modified. You would need to file an Order to Show Cause to modify child custody, visitation, child support and spousal support. From there the parties would go to mediation and sit down with the mediator to discuss the current custody and timeshare plan. Your brother can then address all his concerns regarding the children at that time.

Support is calculated based on the parties’ income. He would need to submit updated proof of his income and expenses. If there has been a change of circumstances, the judge can revisit the support amounts and see if they are still the right amount to be paid. He needs to get the support modified ASAP, as he doesn’t pay arrears will build up and interest could be tacked on.

Posted in: Child Custody, Divorce, Family Law, Spousal Support / Alimony

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