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Post-divorce Modifications to Agreements and Orders

“My ex and I don’t follow our original divorce agreement but have come up with a different plan that works better. Do we need to ask the Court for approval of our post-divorce agreement?” – Family Law Client

Sometimes, once couples are divorced, they find that certain terms of their agreement are not being upheld by the other party or maybe even by both parties.  This can be related to a number of things.  Parenting arrangements, finances, alimony, the sale of real estate, the distribution of assets, cooperation in terms of tax filings, transferring titled vehicles or many other situations were ironed out in Court-approved agreements or orders but may not have been followed.

Life happens.  As children grow up, careers advance, babies are born and new relationships begin, the logistics of what was a well-thought-out and previously functioning plan, may not remain that way.  Oftentimes the parties try to be flexible in these situations.  They often come up with alternative arrangements to make things work.  Does this mean you need to ask permission from the Court to stray from the original Court-ordered agreement or order?   In many instances, yes.  It is a good idea to solidify any modifications to post-divorce agreements.  In some cases, such as child support, without the Court approving your agreement, it is not enforceable.

You should contact one of our trusted Family Law Attorneys to guide you if you think you may need a modification of an Order.  It may be recommended that the modification, even if made by agreement, be put in writing and submitted to the Court for approval.    It is ideal to adhere to the terms of your Court-ordered agreement or order, until your Attorney advises you otherwise.  Err on the side of caution and speak with an Attorney who represents your best interests to avoid the possibility of a contempt issue.

Call or e-mail us today if you would like to set up a consultation with one of our family law Attorneys to discuss your particular situation.  If you feel you may need a modification to your agreement or Court Order, you can bring your Agreement or Order with you to your confidential consultation and you will leave with a plan for next steps.

Katherine J. Morneau