Your divorce is final, and you breathe a sigh of relief because you can now move forward with your life. However, life likes to throw curve balls. Unexpected changes are difficult enough but even more so after a divorce due to added complexity. You find that now your agreement no longer works for your situation. What can you do?
Fortunately, Ohio allows for post-divorce modification under certain circumstances. If you can show a substantial change that affects one of these areas, you may be able to petition the court to modify your divorce order to meet your new needs.
Although you may have gone through battles to get your current parenting time, you may be eligible to have it changed when the following happens with either parent:
- New work schedule
- Health problems that prevent the ability to care for children
- Addiction, domestic violence and other dangers
A child developing a severe, long-term health condition can be another valid reason.
Whether you pay or receive child support and/or alimony, you could potentially get the amount modified if you meet certain criteria. For example, if your income has gone down or you lost your job altogether, you may be able to apply for a lower amount to pay. Or, if your ex's income increases significantly, you might petition for a higher amount to receive. Medical issues and remarriage are also relevant factors.
Some things are usually permanent once the divorce is final, such as the division of marital property. However, if you both agree to changes, it may be possible to receive court approval.
Note that if your desire for a modification is the result of dissatisfaction with your decree, you have to file an objection or appeal instead shortly after the issuance of the decree. The involvement of error, fraud or new evidence typically requires a motion for relief from judgment.