In an original divorce proceeding, a final decree (“judgment”) is entered either after a trial or an agreement. On occasion, even well-drafted agreements and trial orders can result in the need for modification. Additionally, after a divorce is concluded, the circumstances of one or both of the parties may change so substantially that continuing to adhere to the original orders becomes inequitable/unworkable or no longer required under the law.
The judgment has many provisions, some of which can be modified, some of which cannot be changed. Child Support, as well as, child custody and parenting plans can always be changed upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances of either parent or it is in the best interests of a child. Alimony can be modified if the judgement allows modification. Property settlements generally cannot be modified absent a showing of fraud.
When modifying an order of the Court, self help is not advisable. The failure to seek an order (approval) of the Court, even if agreed to in writing by the parties, modifying a previous Court order may leave you susceptible to a finding of contempt and increase your liability to your former spouse.