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When Should You Modify a Divorce Decree?

Reasons why you need a modification

  1. You are the paying parent but now your child lives with you
  2. Your income decreases substantially (unless you voluntarily quit your job)
  3. Your child's needs have changed (you no longer pay full-time work-related daycare expenses, your child is getting ready to go to college, or your child has been diagnosed with a medical condition which is now more expensive to deal with on your own
  4. A parent has an illness or disability
  5. Your child support order is at least 20% too high ($500 per month but the new child support amount calculates to less than $400 or more than $600 per month)
  6. One of you has relocated to where the current schedule is no longer workable
  7. Substantiated hotline calls related to abuse or one parent has been arrested for committing some kind of crime while having custody of the child
  8. You have already informally agreed to 50/50 custody but it's not on paper
  9. Other parent moving multiple times, not getting the kids to school, appears like they might be on drugs

Reasons why you don't need a modification

  1. You got divorced between 3 months to a year ago and you aren't happy with the deal you agreed to or the attorney that represented you
  2. You just went to court on a modification or paternity judgment and you lost
  3. You have a pending juvenile court case
  4. You have lots of complaints but they all add up to minor issues with the other parent
  5. Your child wants to live with you and is not a teenager