When and how may I make a change to my divorce decree?

Your divorce decree may include a monthly payment schedule for spousal support or alimony. The Pennsylvania General Assembly website notes that you may request a modification when the circumstances surrounding either you or your ex-spouse have changed.

The amount of support payments set by the court reflects each party’s situation at the time of a divorce. If your income has changed, you may need to revise your decree to reflect your current circumstances. Other factors also allow you to ask the court for a revision.

Changed factors that may require a modification

When filing for divorce, the court may award support payments based on a spouse’s inability to work. A physical impairment or disability, for example, may have resulted in financial support to help a spouse recover. If a medical condition has improved, a decree may need modifying to reflect a return to work.

Some judges award alimony for a spouse to receive education and new skills. If a spouse finished training and found a job, parties may no longer need to maintain a support schedule. Modifying a decree may absolve an individual from making further payments. A catastrophic income or property loss may also require revisions to a court decree.

Temporary circumstances may allow an out-of-court workout

If you experienced a significant loss of income, you may discuss a temporary modification with your ex-spouse. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance notes that two ex-spouses may collaborate and create a change in support without going to court. You may, for example, negotiate an arrangement that lasts for a set length of time.

Individuals experiencing financial issues may request a modification to a court-ordered divorce decree. A support contract with an ex-spouse may also offer terms allowing for an amicable modification.


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