What Are Potential Legal Grounds for Modifying a Virginia Divorce Settlement?

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What Are Potential Legal Grounds for Modifying a Virginia Divorce Settlement?

December 30 2022
By Faye Carroll

After securing a divorce in Virginia, it is possible to modify the settlement agreement. Life happens, and unforeseen issues or a change in circumstances can cause either party to seek a modification of the settlement to reflect these life changes.

What are the potential legal grounds for modifying a Virginia divorce settlement post-judgment? Here’s when you may need to adjust your settlement agreement even after your divorce has been finalized in the state of Virginia.

Child Custody, Support, and Visitation

If you and your spouse originally agreed on terms when filing for divorce regarding your children under the age of 18, things may have changed since then.

For example, you may have lost your income and not be able to make the allotted child support payments, or one of your children may have become injured or ill and require additional monetary support from your former spouse.

Child support, custody, and visitation arrangements may also need to be changed if you have a job transfer that requires you to move out of state, or the same may be true for your former spouse.

Adjustments to Spousal Support (Alimony)

Unless your divorce settlement included a one-time spousal support payment, you are able to modify the agreement and adjust spousal support payments, or alimony, provided you have evidence for why these changes need to be made.

The spouse receiving alimony must submit evidence of a change in circumstances from when the divorce settlement was finalized. For example, the spouse receiving support may have had a change in employment or income, have incurred medical issues, or have remarried.

If the spouse receiving alimony has gotten remarried or is even living with someone after the divorce, spousal support may be reduced or stopped entirely.

When Changes Cannot Be Made to a Divorce Settlement

While both parties can generally request a post-judgment modification to a divorce settlement, a change cannot be requested if the agreement specifically states it is non-modifiable.

In such cases, even if there is a change in circumstances, the agreement is final and cannot be changed. This is an important detail to note when signing the agreement and having your divorce finalized in Virginia.

You also cannot request changes to a settlement agreement regarding child custody, support, or visitation if you and your former spouse’s children are now over the age of 18, except in select cases.

Seek the Advice of an Experienced Divorce Attorney

Are you considering modifying a divorce settlement based on a change in circumstances? If so, working with an experienced divorce attorney in Virginia can help simplify the process. Contact Virginia Family Law Center, P.C., to discuss your post-judgment divorce modification today.

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