Divorces are a major change in your life. In North Carolina, the divorce process can cover the dissolution of the marriage and the establishment of child custody. These arrangements are designed to provide some support and stability, but life is always changing. When circumstances change, individuals can seek modification for these orders. Here are a few points to consider about those post-divorce modifications in North Carolina.
Understanding Post-Divorce Modifications
A post-divorce modification is a legal process allowing divorced individuals to request changes to their existing child custody, child support, or alimony orders.
The court system knows that life can be unpredictable. What may have been a suitable arrangement at the time of the divorce is no longer a viable option. In these cases, North Carolina law does provide the framework to address changes in relationship status, income, or living arrangements.
These changes provide for the continuous well-being of all parties involved in these post-divorce agreements.
What Types of Modifications Are Allowed?
Whether it is child custody or alimony, these arrangements can be modified. For child custody and support, all agreements prioritize the child’s best interests. However, situations can change, requiring a few adjustments to custody orders.
Some common reasons for modifications include:
- Relocation: If a custodial parent intends to move a distance away, that could disrupt the existing custody arrangement. In these cases, a modification will make sure that the child has access to both parents.
- Change in a parent’s circumstances: If one parent experiences life changes, such as substance abuse issues, mental health challenges, or criminal activities, modifying custody arrangements can protect the child’s safety and welfare.
- Violation of existing order: When one parent consistently violates the terms of the existing custody order, the other parent may seek a modification to the order.
For child support, certain situations require a modification, such as:
- Substantial change in income: In cases where one parent experiences a substantial increase or decrease in income, that can be grounds for a child support modification.
- Medical expenses: If the child’s medical expenses increase, this can also be a reason to modify child support.
Like child support, alimony can be modified as well. Changes in income or health issues can affect existing spousal support arrangements. Along with that, alimony can be modified or terminated if the receiving spouse cohabits or remarries another individual.
However, these modifications will depend on the terms of the post-divorce agreement. Some arrangements do have a set duration for payment. Once that period passes, the paying spouse can request a modification or termination of the alimony.
The Legal Process for Modifications in North Carolina
If you want to start a post-divorce modification in North Carolina, you will need to follow these steps:
- File a motion with the court that issued the original divorce decree. You will need to outline the reasons for the requested modification.
- The other party must be served with notice of the motion. That allows them to respond and present their side of the case.
- Both parties will need to present evidence to support their positions during a court hearing. The judge will consider the evidence and decide based on the child’s best interests or the circumstances surrounding alimony modifications.
Learn More About Your Post-Divorce Modification Options
Life is unpredictable. North Carolina law recognizes the need for flexibility when circumstances change. If you face substantial changes post-divorce, consult a qualified family law attorney in North Carolina. At Stephen E. Robertson Law Office, we are here to help you navigate through these challenging times. Call us at 336-370-6760 to schedule a consultation.