There are few things in life that are final, but that rarely includes divorce and child custody agreements. When couples split up and decide to end their marriage they have to come to several agreements, especially if they have children. Many times the courts will have to get involved in order to resolve some of these issues. For example, a court might rule that one spouse has to pay maintenance every month to the other spouse. Like it or not, if the judge orders you to make that payment then you are obligated to do so. Likewise, judges will often order the non-custodial parent to pay monthly support to the custodial parent, which is called child support. Again, you are obligated to pay if a judge hands down such a ruling.
However, what happens if your circumstances change dramatically and you can no longer pay the amount that the judge ordered you to pay? For example, what happens if you lose your job, or take a significant pay-cut? Do you still have to pay the same amount if you no longer have the same amount coming in? On the flip side, what if you are the one receiving support and your spouse suddenly starts earning a lot more money, which means he or she could begin paying more money in spousal or child support? Can you ask for more?
These are common questions and the answer is yes, you can ask for a reduction in the amount you pay and your spouse could ask for an increase as well. It will all depend on your circumstances as to whether or not your request is granted, and mostly, what were the original terms of your marriage settlement agreement (MSA) or custody judgment. However, in order to make any modification on spousal or child support you have to go through the courts. Simply losing your job will not be enough reason to stop making payments. You must formally petition the court for a modification and then prove your reason for the petition.
There are many reasons that could necessitate a modification in spousal or child support, as well as child custody. In matters of child custody, however, one of the overriding factors in determining whether or not the court will make a change is whether or not the request is in the best interest of the child or children.
If you need to request a modification to the terms of your spousal or child support agreement, or to your child custody situation, then please contact us at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group for assistance. We help you get through this sometimes confusing and combative process. Click here to contact us online or give us a call at 312-445-8830.
This is not intended to be legal advice and this should only be considered general information. You should always contact an attorney to decide what is best for you in your particular case and circumstances.
There are many factors to consider when contemplating divorce, and a pre-divorce planning session can help you begin to plan for a divorce. Please contact the professionals at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group by calling (312) 585-6604 or clicking here to schedule a consultation.