April 20, 2018

Nothing lasts forever, not even divorce judgements

Anyone who has been divorced in Michigan can attest to the fact that the agreements condoned by the court often seem final. However, these judgments are made to fit the exigencies of a specific situation and might be changed if the circumstances shift enough to make a change necessary.

One is an appeal, which challenges the entire decision. The other is a modification— a small adjustment to a generally acceptable situation. As for modifications, Michigan law offers significant latitude when modifying divorce judgments.

Furthermore, the Michigan revised statutes allow for modifications to annulments and separate maintenance judgments as well. One common example is in Section 17 of the divorce law, which allows either parent to petition for a modification of the section of the judgment concerning the children. This might include changing:

  • Custodianship of any number of children
  • Financial support agreements
  • Childcare terms

The only prerequisite for child custody, care, or support modification is that the circumstances of one of the parents or the well-being of the child— or children— in question would warrant the change proposed by the parent. For example, a reduction in earnings might lead one parent to petition for a reduction in child support obligations.

Lawmakers drafted these statutes somewhat liberally, allowing divorced individuals an opportunity to create a nurturing and sensible agreement for themselves and their children regardless of how much circumstances change. Through sensible and appropriate petitions, unwieldy divorce agreements might be brought back under control.