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What are the criteria for post-divorce modification?

Many may feel that when couples divorce in Charlotte, their involvement with family law matters ends with the establishment of orders for spousal and child support and/or child custody. Yet as time passes, the circumstances surrounding a separated couple can change, causing one or both parties involved in a divorce agreement to revisit the terms of their arrangements. The guidelines and regulations governing such changes, however, are typically very specific regarding the scenarios that may warrant a change. 

First and foremost, it should be understood that one simply cannot ask that the terms of their child support and custody or alimony agreements be changed simply because he or she never found them to be agreeable to being with. Rather, he or she has to demonstrate a valid change in circumstance in order for a modification to even be considered. Typically, the two most common reasons that drive the need to modify a divorce agreement are children and money.

In terms of child support and/or custody, North Carolina General Statute 50-13.7 states that any agreement can be subject to post-divorce modification if significant changes in circumstances are demonstrated and provided the supporting parent has no past due vested child support payments.

General Statute 50-16.9 addresses changes to alimony agreements. It also requires that significant changes in the lives of the parties involved must be present in order to justify a revision. Yet it also adds the provision that should the spouse who is receiving the support chooses to remarry or even cohabit with a domestic partner, his or her ex’s obligation to provide support shall cease.

While certainly not intended to serve as legal advice, a review of the criteria mentioned above is strongly encouraged before asking the court to review one’s divorce agreements.

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