Divorce is meant to be final. But, some issues can be subject to future modification. Generally speaking, the disposition of the Equitable Distribution (property division) is final and, unless agreed to by the parties, is not subject to any future modifications by the court. However, spousal support, child support and child custody matters may well be modified at a later date by a court even without the consent of both parties. Determining what issues might be subject to this involuntary modification can be a complex inquiry. It may depend on whether the issue was resolved by contract or court order. But, there are other factors that are relevant as well.
Even if you and your former spouse are able to agree about the changes that need to take place, it is still important that you take the legal steps necessary to formally amend any prior agreements or court orders.
If a support or custody order is subject to modification by the court, the party requesting the modification must usually establish that there has been a “substantial change in circumstance” since the entry of the prior order. Substantial change in circumstance includes things like:
- winning the lottery
- loss or acquisition of employment
- substantial increase or decrease in earning or earning potential
- increased living expenses
- health and disability issues
In the case of modification of custody or alimony, the relocation or remarriage of one parent may have a substantial impact on the other, justifying modification of the existing court orders.
If you have experienced a substantial change in circumstances, for better or worse, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney to provide leadership and guidance through the process of your modification. We are experienced, knowledgeable and diligent family lawyers. Schedule your consultation today.
Even in the best negotiated agreements made by people with the best of intentions, the reality is that sometimes people have to be forced into compliance with those agreements or any orders the court has issued. When one party is non-compliant in an on-going and repetitive fashion, and especially when that non-compliance creates turmoil, the North Carolina courts will take the necessary steps to ensure compliance is met. In many cases, enforcement actions can be more trying than modifications or even an actual divorce. It has been our experience that nothing is more frustrating to our clients than to have to rehash the issues of their divorce. We understand the emotional impact required enforcement can have. We are tough advocates. You deserve sound, professional, effective counsel for your enforcement matter. We provide exactly that.