As life is ever changing, sometimes events evolve in a couple’s life post-divorce that affect the terms that were agreed to in the divorce agreement. Although the agreement was signed, executed, and incorporated into the Judgment of Divorce , circumstances at that time were different than they are today. Maybe the husband and wife delayed the selling of a property until after the divorce, or now have different economic needs or maybe they now both agree that they should change the way the equity in the house is divided or the way they money is distributed in the retirement plans. “Is it possible to make changes to our divorce agreement after we are already divorced?”
The answer is yes. You can write an addendum to your agreement that includes the changes and then file it with the same court where you filed your Divorce Agreement. The clerk will put the documents together to show that an addendum to your original agreement has been written reflecting the new terms.
It’s more common that the changes that are made are not just economic changes but more often address changes in access visitation schedules. When an access visitation schedule is created for the non-custodial parent in a Divorce Agreement, and the children are young, their needs change rapidly as they get older. When you entered into the agreement the children may have been pre-school age, but now are in school all day. At this point the access visitation schedule needs to be adjusted because vacations, holidays, and other events must now work around the child’s school schedule. In addition, they will have activities, summer camp, or maybe regular religious training.
When the parents are on good terms and have been cooperating, they can make the changes on their own. However, when things aren’t going well between them, a mediation session can help. Usually a new schedule is agreed to and any outstanding issues are resolved fairly quickly.
A New Partner
Another change that is often made to the Divorce Agreement happens when you have a new partner and enter into a serious relationship. The statistics tell us that this most often occurs within 5 years after divorce. This new relationship will change your life significantly and as a result sometimes your divorce agreement needs to be modified.
The issue of relocation is where one of you wants or needs to move away whether due to another relationship, a remarriage or a new job offer that would require you to move a distance away that would make it difficult for the non-custodial parent to see the children. Although often litigated, changes to the relocation clause can be accomplished in mediation.
So, don’t despair or worry that your divorce agreement is written in stone and cannot be changed. Returning to mediation to modify your agreement is easily done and not expensive.
Don Sinkov Your Divorce Mediator Westchester County, NY Putnam County, NY Phone: (914) 588-6258 eMail: Info@YourDivorceMediator.com