You have already completed your divorce, but something in your life drastically changes. What happens when circumstances involving your career, finances or living situation have changed?

Even after your divorce has concluded, you have the right to petition the court for a modification of orders when necessary. Below are a few situations in which you might need to modify an order to accommodate life changes.

Parenting Plan

Sometimes, the official parenting plan needs to be altered to change the agreement regarding custody, visitation, or other factors. This is especially true if:

  • One parent is planning to relocate
  • One parent is unable to care for the child, whether temporarily or permanently
  • One parent is being deployed as a member of the military
  • One parent feels the other parent is putting the child in danger

It’s important to know that if you are filing a modification for custody, you and your former spouse must attend a court-approved parenting program.

Child Support

Parents may need to revise their child support agreement if one parent’s job situation has changed or a child’s needs are now different. For example, an order regarding child support may need modification if:

  • A child needs extensive medical care
  • The parent who pays child support has lost his or her job or has taken a pay cut
  • The parent who pays child support is now making more money

When these and other situations arise regarding the parents’ finances and the child’s needs, child support agreements will need adjustments accordingly.


Sometimes, an alimony agreement needs to change when one party’s financial situation has been altered. Alimony or spousal support may need to be modified if:

  • The paying party lost his or her job
  • The paying party has received a demotion
  • The party receiving alimony or support has gotten a raise or a better paying job

Alimony or spousal support may also be terminated in situations such as remarriage of the receiving party.

Taking the Appropriate Steps

It’s crucial to take the proper legal steps to modify an order, as verbal agreements are not legally approved, binding, or enforceable. Seeking court approval may be more time consuming, but you’ll get the legal protection to ensure everyone remains on the same page.

The process of filing for a modification can be difficult and confusing without appropriate legal representation. Petrelli Previtera is able to assist you if you are thinking about requesting a modification of orders in Pennsylvania or New Jersey. We know the rules and procedures under state law, and our team can save you a lot of time and frustration.