Marital settlement agreements are legal documents that are designed to establish the rights and obligations of both parties in a divorce. They typically cover everything from child custody and support to property division and spousal support. But what happens when circumstances change after the agreement has been signed and finalized? Can a marital settlement agreement be changed?
The answer is yes, but it is not an easy process. Marital settlement agreements are designed to be final and binding once they have been signed by both parties and approved by the court. However, there are certain circumstances under which they can be modified.
If both parties agree to the change, it is possible to modify the agreement by filing a stipulation with the court. This is the easiest and most straightforward way to modify a marital settlement agreement. However, if one party does not agree to the change, the process becomes more complicated.
In order to modify a marital settlement agreement without the agreement of both parties, the party seeking the change must file a motion with the court. This motion must explain the change that is being requested and provide evidence that the change is necessary. For example, if one party has lost their job and can no longer afford the agreed-upon child support payments, they may file a motion to modify the agreement.
Once the motion has been filed, the court will schedule a hearing. Both parties will have the opportunity to present evidence and argue their case. The court will then make a decision on whether or not to modify the agreement. If the court approves the modification, the new terms will be included in a new order that supersedes the original agreement.
It is important to note that modifying a marital settlement agreement is not an easy process. It requires a significant amount of time and effort, as well as the assistance of a qualified attorney. If you are considering modifying your marital settlement agreement, it is important to consult with an attorney who can help guide you through the process.
In conclusion, while marital settlement agreements are designed to be final and binding, they can be modified under certain circumstances. If both parties agree to the change, it can be done through a stipulation. However, if one party does not agree, the process becomes more complicated and requires a motion filed with the court. If you are considering modifying your marital settlement agreement, consult with an experienced attorney to assist you in the process.