Learn how to make changes to a divorce Settlement Agreement in Georgia
As time goes on you may find that changes in your life are not compatible with the terms of your divorce Settlement. For major changes you need to file a petition to make modifications that are legally binding. Common areas that cause filing for a modification include changing child support payments, child custody, visitation, and spousal support payments.
Common Reasons To File for a Modifications
Financial situations are the most common reason a parent files for a modification. Whether it's losing a job or one parent's income substantially increases money drives most modifications. Other reasons are to address conditions that directly affect children and parents such as relocation, safety and welfare issues, domestic violence, sexual abuse, parent substance abuse, and similar problems that degrade the living conditionsfor a child.
A modification can protect you from contempt charges! If you are have chronic problems paying child support or spousal support you could be charged with contempt. This could land you in jail, cause your paycheck to be garnished, or cause other problems. A modification is your chance to be proactive and get payments adjusted to a manageable level.
What About Informal Changes and Agreements?
Many divorced couples make verbal agreements to amicably manage small things. While these informal agreements usually work without any problems, they are not recognized by the court. Technically, these informal agreeements could have you or your ex not abiding by the terms of the Settlement. If you are seeking a modification you should make certain that even minor changes are incorporated into your petition.
How Soon or Often Can I File for a Modification?
Generally speaking, people do not attempt to get a modification until at least 18-24 months after the divorce decree is issued. Anytime you file for a modification, whether or not you are successful, you have to wait two years before you can file again. However, there are three exceptions which can allow you to request a modification sooner than two years. These exceptions are:
- Either parent has experienced an involuntary loss of income hardship
- The non-custodial parent has not taken visitation granted by the court
- The non-custodial parent has taken more visitation than granted by the court