Few processes are as arduous and stressful as going through a divorce. Over the course of several months, you may be meeting with your lawyer, your former spouse, their lawyer, and other parties to make heavy decisions that will impact your life in ways you may not imagine. Divorce can be an emotionally trying time, and it is possible you signed an agreement that does not consider all future circumstances nor works in your best interest. The experienced attorneys at King Law have helped numerous clients modify their post-divorce agreements. If you believe you’re ready to seek a modification, consider working with a qualified attorney to represent your interests.
Reasons For and Types of Post-Divorce Modifications
If you’ve experienced a significant change in your circumstances-either personal or financial, you may want to consider modifying your divorce agreements. Luckily, North Carolina does allow some post-divorce modifications, for some of the following reasons:
- Parental relocation to another county, state, or country
- Job loss
- Significant increase or decrease in income
- Changes in a child’s needs
Child Support Modifications
Additionally, an existing child support order may be modified, with court approval, if there is enough evidence that justifies the change. The following are examples of justifying circumstances:
- It has been 3 years since the current child support order was implemented, and the proposed change would alter the amount by at least 15%.
- The child’s educational and/or medical needs have changed.
- There has been a significant and involuntary decrease in the paying parent’s income.
- There has been a change in the physical child custody agreement.
When one spouse is ordered to pay alimony to another spouse for a certain period of time after a divorce, it can be challenging to try to modify this amount. The party wishing to modify the alimony order must show a “substantial change of circumstances” that would justify altering the alimony arrangement. If the change in circumstances is proven and the modification granted, it would be implemented retroactively to the date that the modification was requested.
Granting and Modifying Alimony
It’s important to note that, even with evidence of changes in circumstances, modification of a post-divorce order will still have to be approved by a judge.
Either party may file for alimony, but a judge will only grant it if one party is considered to be a dependent party, one party is considered a supporting party, and the alimony is award is determined to be a fair amount when all determining factors (as found in General Statute §50-16.3A) are met.
The judge will also exercise the right to determine the sum of alimony, as well as how the supporting party will pay it. He or she will also set the duration of alimony and may decide to grant alimony indefinitely or for a certain time period depending on various facts.
Granting and Modifying Child Support
Custody and support of a minor child is decided based upon the best interests of the child. Often a Court-appointed mediator will work with the parents to make important decisions concerning the child’s well-being.
The judge will allow child support and alimony amounts to be modified post-divorce. The party wishing to modify the amount must file a motion with the Court and show the change in circumstances of either party that has prompted the motion to modify.
The Court will terminate alimony orders if the party receiving alimony gets remarried or moves in with a person with whom he or she becomes romantically involved, the payor passes away, or the receiving spouse’s financial situation has changed to the point that alimony no longer meets his or her reasonable needs.
North Carolina Family Lawyers You Can Trust
If you want to discuss modifying an existing support or custody order, do not wait to seek legal counsel. Our experienced, compassionate modification attorneys at King Law Offices can review your options with you, so you know how to proceed and what to expect. We are proud to serve clients throughout North Carolina and have developed a reputation for quality and compassionate representation in these matters.
To get started, fill out our online contact form or call any of our offices toll-free at (888) 748-KING (5464) today.