When you’re going through a divorce, a settlement will eventually be made that divides all of your assets as well as a few other components, such as child visitation rights. While it’s possible for a divorcing couple to agree on the settlement themselves through the course of mediation, many cases end up resulting in a judge making a final decision on what the settlement should be. In this situation, it’s possible that you’ll be presented with a settlement that you don’t believe is fair. If the settlement occurred years ago and you’re just now thinking of having it revised, the following details whether or not it’s possible to do so.
Can I Revise a Divorce Settlement Years Later?
Any order given by a court is determined to be binding, so it’s always going to be difficult to have it revised or amended in a way that benefits you. Although it’s certainly possible to have a divorce settlement revised, it becomes increasingly difficult to do so with each passing year. The longer you wait, the less likely it is that the changes you wish to make will be granted by a judge. If you wish to have a divorce settlement amended, your ability to do so will likely be restricted to issues such as child custody, alimony payments, and child support, as a change in circumstances allows for the change of the divorce settlement to reflect the new circumstances.
One of the most common ways in which a divorce settlement is revised occurs when the financial situations change between a couple. For instance, if the husband made $50,000 more than the wife at the time of the initial divorce settlement, they may be required to pay high child support payments. However, if these financial situations changed substantially, these changes could be taken into account and the child support requirements altered. When you make your case to a judge, you will need to present extensive documentation that supports your belief that certain aspects of the original divorce settlement should be altered.
How to Prepare For and Justify a Revision of the Divorce Settlement
Once you’ve identified that there are substantial changes within the situation between you and your ex-spouse to account for a revision of the divorce settlement, you’ll want to prepare for the modification. The only preparation you can make once you decide to revise the settlement is to meet with a divorce attorney such as ours that can assist with your case. However, in the time between the first settlement and the revision, you can support your case by acting in a manner that will allow the courts to look at your situation in a positive light. For instance, always make child support payments on time and go out of your way to take an active role in the lives of your children. Skipping payments or missing time that you’ve been designated to spend with your children will hurt your chances to obtain the necessary changes to the divorce settlement.
Justifying the modification of a divorce settlement is the most challenging aspect of a case such as this. You’re going to need extensive documentation that supports your request and will need a serious complaint of the initial settlement in order to have a chance at succeeding. It’s important that you don’t go into court with a minor complaint and that you never appear reactionary in front of the judge. Before filing a petition to modify the settlement, it’s recommended that you make a sincere attempt to resolve your dispute with the initial settlement through correspondence with your ex-spouse. Make sure you have a written record of this correspondence. If this approach doesn’t work, your only recourse is to file a petition.
Here at Spodek Law Group, we make sure to provide each of our clients with high quality representation, so contact us today if you have a divorce settlement that you wish to have revised.
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