Springfield, MO Modifications Lawyer
Life comes at us fast. Sometimes that means the circumstances that were the basis of a divorce settlement change, and the terms that were agreed to now seem unduly burdensome. Missouri law does allow for alterations to a settlement and a Springfield, MO modifications lawyer can file the appropriate petitions and help build their client’s case.
Reasons for a Divorce Modification in Missouri
The principal basis for seeking an alteration to the original settlement is a substantial change in circumstances. In most cases, this is going to refer to a person’s income and its relationship to the payments of alimony or child support. If the income change is 20% or greater, the court will automatically consider the request. But every person’s case is different, and several factors can also be considered.
- The loss of a job is certainly a good reason to seek lower payment amounts. But the reason for the job loss can be a mitigating factor.
- The person that loses their job through no fault of their own because of layoffs can have a strong case. The person that loses their job because they didn’t show up for work consistently or outright quit might find the court less sympathetic. The person that took a job that was lower-paying, but personally fulfilling might have made an admirable decision–but the burden of that decision will not usually fall on an ex who depends on the payments they receive.
- The permanence of the income loss can also be a factor. The person that was laid off might have very realistic prospects for getting a comparable job in a short period of time. That would lessen the need for a support modification.
- A modification request might also come from the spouse who receives the payments. What if children have developed medical issues that require more expenses? It could be anything from hospital stays to doctor visits to the need for a home health aide. Both parents are responsible for the financial support of their children, and it could be the child who experiences the substantial change in circumstances that Missouri courts look for in modification cases.
- Geographic relocations are another potential cause of modification petitions. A custodial parent might get a better job offer outside the area. Or perhaps they start a relationship with someone from outside the area and want to relocate. Either way, new terms of the divorce settlement will likely be required. A Springfield, MO modifications lawyer will file the request and advise their client on what might be required of them to get judicial approval.
These are just a few common examples of when modification petitions might be needed. Anything that results in a substantial change in circumstances can be considered by a Missouri family law court.
There are two prime examples of when modifications are not needed. When a spouse remarries, any alimony they might have been receiving ceases. And when a child turns 18 years old, child support is over, unless the parents negotiated a support agreement that said otherwise .
Taylor & Phillips is a Springfield-based law firm that handles modification petitions, serving clients across Greene County, Christian County, and Webster County.
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