In the months and years following a divorce, it is not uncommon for significant life events to have a devastating impact on finances. Depending on how the marriage ended, the exes might decide to arrive at a revised divorce order that accounts for changing circumstances. Unfortunately, this casual agreement lacks any legal tools for enforcement. While it might seem cumbersome, it is better to follow the legal process when attempting to negotiate any modification to the divorce order.
There are numerous types of life events that can dramatically impact an individual’s financial security, including:
- Job loss
- Reduction in hours
- Medical emergency
- Emergency home repair
- Death in the family
When factors such as these become a reality, it might be necessary to revise a divorce order. Terms the former couple originally negotiated might no longer be accurate. From child support and spousal support to custody and visitation, the exes must adjust the agreement to meet these changing financial circumstances.
A verbal agreement isn’t always legally binding
While you and your ex might be in complete agreement regarding the changes that need to be made, modifications that are made based on verbal or conversational agreements are generally not enforceable. Even though you might have the agreement in writing – through email or a text conversation – it is always wise to move through the legal process when making even a minor modification to the divorce order. In this way, the changes are legally binding and enforceable. In other words, if your ex does not uphold his or her obligations, legal consequences are possible.