Questions to Ask When Changing the Terms of a Divorce
After the long process of getting a divorce, it’s finally come to an end. You’ve parted ways with your former significant other and you feel all the better for it.
After the dust has settled and time passes, you may decide the divorce terms are no longer appropriate. Whatever the reasoning may be, there are options to renegotiate a divorce in order to keep the divorce terms mutually beneficial as times change. Here are a few tips when changing the terms of a divorce.
Should I tell my former spouse I want to renegotiate?
For many, the prospect of engaging your former spouse after time has passed following a divorce can be daunting. However, much like initial divorce negotiations, if you are able to come to a mutual understanding the process is much easier.
If you’re able to come to an agreement on your own, an appropriate next step would be to get it in writing with the help of a lawyer. The lawyer can then file documents with the court and they’ll be added to the divorce order. Remember, even if you and your former spouse come to an agreement, it’s not legally binding until it’s been approved and recorded by the courts.
What are appropriate reasons to renegotiate a divorce?
There are many valid reasons why one may attempt to renegotiate a divorce order, including:
Your ex has had a significant change in income level;
The children have gotten older and taking care of them is more expensive;
You have had a significant reduction in income level; or
The former spouse committed fraud or acted in bad faith during the initial divorce proceedings.
Consulting a family law attorney can be a great resource when determining if renegotiation is a feasible path forward.
Can I renegotiate just because I don’t like the previous terms?
If your previous spouse agrees with your renegotiation, the legal system will not disrupt the process and will proceed with the agreement even if the sole reason is simply, “I didn’t like what we decided upon the first time.” However, if your former spouse doesn’t agree, you must demonstrate a change in your circumstances that warrants the renegotiation.
Can I change the terms of child or spousal support?
If your former spouse refuses your proposed renegotiation, the matter must be taken to court and a substantial change in financial circumstances must be proven. Several circumstances can meet this criteria, including:
The paying spouse losing their job or experiencing an income decrease they did not choose;
The paying spouse experiencing a significant increase in income; or
The care of the child required significantly greater financial support than was determined during the initial ruling.
To learn more about changing the terms of child support, see this informative fact sheet from the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families.
To learn more about determining spousal support, see our previous blog post on the basics of determining spousal support.
Can I change the terms of my property settlement agreement?
In most cases, Wisconsin law does not allow the reallocation of property following a divorce agreement. Some of the few cases in which property can be reallocated after a ruling include incidents of fraud or a party failing to disclose all relevant information.
Consult a Lawyer
Everson Law has a wide breadth of experience assisting with divorce renegotiation. Contact Everson Law today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced attorneys. Unsure how to choose an appropriate attorney for your situation? Check out our previous blog post on how to choose a family law attorney.