When you get divorced, it can be easy to make hasty or emotional decisions. If you agree to a property split or a custody arrangement and then later regret your decision, you may be able to change it, but change is not always possible. To guide you, here are five situations in which you may be able to change your divorce agreement:
1. You may be able to apply for maintenance or property division if your divorce has been final for less than a year.
When you apply for a divorce through the Family Court of Australia, the court doesn't necessarily force you to deal with maintenance claims or property divisions. If you simply made a verbal agreement regarding those things and you decide that you want a more permanent arrangement or a different arrangement, you can file a separate application regarding those issues.
If you want to apply for maintenance for yourself or a division of property, you must file a separate application within 12 months of the date the divorce becomes final. Otherwise, you will need the court's permission to apply, and you may be too late.
2. You can change custody court orders with a parenting plan.
If you currently have a court-ordered custody arrangement, you are your ex-partner may agree to change it with a parenting plan. A parenting plan is one that you and your ex-partner create and agree on together. You may also replace an existing parenting plan with a new one.
3. You can change child support payments based on changes in your schedules.
If you have taken on more custody and you feel that the child custody arrangement is no longer fair, you can request to have the support payments increased. Alternatively, if you pay child support payments but you take on extra custody, you can apply to have your required payments reduced.
4. You may be able to change child support payments due to changes in income.
If you pay child support payments based on an estimate of your income, you may be able to apply for lower payments if your income decreases. Conversely, if your income increases, in many cases, you are required to notify the Department of Human Services, so it can adjust your required payments accordingly.
On the other hand, if you believe that your ex-spouse has increased his or her income and you believe you are due greater child support payments, you can bring that information forward.
5. You may be able to get more property if your spouse hid assets in the divorce process.
If you discover that your ex-spouse hid assets during the divorce process, you can contact a solicitor about taking him or her back to court. That may change the division of property, and in some cases, your solicitor may be able to help you hold your spouse responsible for misleading you and the courts.