Changes

If you and your spouse or ex-spouse agree to change the terms of a court order (Temporary Support Order, Final Decree, or any other), you must change it with another order. If your spouse says, “You don’t have to pay alimony for the next year if you will take the children to Disneyland this summer,” you must get it in writing and entered in court for it to be binding on your spouse and to protect you from contempt.

If you need to change child support or certain types of alimony, you can petition the court for a change. If you show a change of circumstances, then the court may modify these provisions. The changes of circumstances that most impress the court are those changes that you do not expect: “I lost my job because the company went bankrupt.” The courts are less sympathetic to “I just don’t want to work as hard as I used to work.”

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