Your Legal Rights at Work

Tips For Successfully Modifying A Divorce Agreement

by Lewis Hamilton

The final divorce decree you receive is the document that proves you are legally divorced and shows the precise agreement you have with your spouse relating to the issues of the divorce. This agreement is called a final divorce settlement agreement, and what it says is what you must follow. The only way to change anything on it is by going through the process of modification. This process is not easy to do, though, so here are some tips that can help you successfully change something your divorce agreement says.

Know what you can and cannot change

When a court issues a divorce settlement, the couple getting divorced would likely have spent months working with their lawyers to create the agreement. The couple would have agreed on all issues or let the judge decide on any issues they could not agree on. Because this is a final document and a legal contract, in a sense, you cannot simply ask the court to change something if you do not like what it says. For example, if you decide later on that you want some possessions that your ex-spouse received from the settlement, you cannot go and ask a judge to change this part of the agreement. The only things you can really change are big issues, such as those involving child support or child custody.

Understand that you must have proof and a really good reason for the request

To get a modification of your divorce settlement, you will not only need to make sure it is an issue that could be changed, but you must also make sure you have a really good reason for asking for the change and proof to back it up. For example, if you want to change the child support you are paying or receiving, you will need evidence to prove that you have a good and valid reason for the request.

File the modification court documents and follow through with the hearings

Once you are ready to complete the modification, you will need to go through your local court. You will have to file a modification request through the court, and you will have to go to any and all hearings scheduled by the court for this matter. This is the process you will need to use if you would like to change anything that your agreement states. To make this task easier, you should consider hiring a family law attorney for help.