During divorce proceedings, couples must settle many marital issues. Any decisions that are made regarding these issues are required to be finalized by a judge. Even decisions made during divorce mediation must be approved, as the judge reviews the couple’s decisions before they are final. In any court case, a judge’s word is considered the law. This means once the conclusions are made, they must be followed and can be enforced by the court if they are not. However, the Pennsylvania court system is aware that family circumstances can change over time. Because of this, modifications can be made to a settlement agreement after it is finalized. This is so that it may accommodate any significant changes in the family’s life. Modifications can only be done if one or both of the spouses can prove the changes are major and ongoing.
Child Support Modifications
When a divorcing couple has children, child support payments must be decided by the court. There are some cases in which a parent may request to modify the payment amount over time. These modifications can either be an increase or a decrease in the payments. Situations in which a modification may be requested can include:
- A change in custody arrangements
- Loss of employment
- An increase or decrease in income
- If a child requires money for medical treatments
Similar to child support, a spouse may owe the other spouse payments to support them after the divorce is final. This is also called Alimony. The payments are decided by the court in order to avoid further conflict between the spouses. These payments can also be modified if there is a major change in one or both of the spouse’s situations. They may be necessary in the event of a change in a spouse’s ability to pay the support or a dependent spouse’s need to receive it. Modifications can be made to this if a former spouse experiences:
- Loss of employment
- A change in income
- An illness
- A spouse’s ability to become financially independent from the other spouse
Custody and Visitation Schedules
A child’s custody arrangement and a parent’s visitation schedule are settlements that can also be modified. Just like other modifications, one or both of the child’s parents are required to prove a significant and ongoing change in their life. The court listens to both arguments for and against the modification. Once this is done, they come to a conclusion that is in the child’s best interest. Reasons for modification may include:
- If one parent relocates
- Any medical problems with the child or a parent
- A change in a parent’s employment
- Parent alienation
- A negative change in the child’s school performance
Contact our Firm
If you or someone you know is looking to modify a family arrangement, contact the Law Offices of Ilkhanoff & Silverstein today.
The divorce process can be challenging, but our team at Ilkhanoff & Silverstein are dedicated to fighting for your best interests. Since 1999, our York divorce lawyers have guided our clients through this emotional and stressful time with compassionate client service and results-driven legal counsel.