Divorce can take months to resolve. During that time, circumstances often change. Often, once a divorce is granted adjustments to the settlement agreement or judge’s orders may be necessary.
The good news is that modifying your divorce decree may be done if specific conditions are met. Of course, it is always best to hire an experienced attorney to ensure all legal guidelines and procedures are properly followed and met.
Can Child Support or Custody Be Modified?
Changing child support or custody can be difficult. Child support can be modified under specific circumstances that are outlined in the Kansas Child Support Guidelines. Child custody can be modified if the situation has changed.
Child support can be changed under four basis. For example, a judge may modify a child support order if either parent experiences a 10% increase or decrease in their income. Or one parent fails to comply with the current child support plan. Second, child support is altered following the emancipation of a child (graduating from high school or actual emancipation.) Third, child support is modified if a child enters an older age group. Kansas law creates three age groups: 0-5, 6-11, and 12-18. Also, child support is modified if the parties are engaged in a shared expense plan and one party is not paying their share of expenses. Finally, other reasonable basis may exist to justify the request of an adjustment to child support. It is best to consult with a qualified attorney like the ones at Addair Law about special circumstances.
Initiating a modification to the divorce decree could be done by submitting a motion with specific facts and reasons supporting why the change is necessary. However, if both parties do not come to an agreement, details may be finalized during a hearing where each party may present their own evidence.
Custody agreements are trickier to change once a judge has approved the plan. However, in the end, the judge is trying to do what is in the child’s best interest. Examples of circumstances that may result in custody modifications include:
- Substance abuse or medical issues
- Financial hardships
- An improper or unsafe living arrangement
- Behavioral changes
In any of these situations, a court-ordered investigation would commence to gather evidence and a judge would ultimately determine whether it is best for the child to alter the custody arrangement. Because, child custody changes require legal analysis, it is best to consult with a lawyer that you have researched and consulted.
What Is Alimony and Can It Be Adjusted?
Alimony, spousal maintenance, and spousal support. All of these words are typically used by lawyers and laypeople alike to describe a payment made by one former spouse to another for their financial support for a defined period of time. We will use spousal maintenance in this post.
Modifications to spousal maintenance in Kansas are dependent case specific circumstances. The person wanting spousal maintenance must show they have financial need. They must also show that the person paying has financial capacity.
In most situations, alimony cannot extend past 10 years from the date of the divorce, unless the two parties agree, or the Court issues a modification order.
Finally, spousal support payments cannot be changed after the agreement is finalized unless it was explicitly stated in the decree that it could be modified in the future.
Can Property Division Be Changed?
Changing the details of a divorce decree regarding property is a much more challenging process. However, it could be done given that certain specifications have been met.
First, the divorce itself must have been finalized within the last year. If over a year has passed, a judge can make no further changes to a decree under state law. There are special instances of fraud, neglect, or other unforeseen circumstances that may sway a court to modify a decree after a year. This requires the careful analysis of a qualified attorney.
Contact a Knowledgeable Divorce Attorney Today
It is possible to make changes to certain aspects of a divorce decree after a divorce is finalized. But it is not a simple process. Reach out to one of our experienced family law attorneys. We will help you determine whether modifications to your divorce agreement are feasible.