3 Life Changes Your Divorce Agreement Should Be Prepared to Handle
Uncontested Divorce Mediation
Posted April 17, 2019
When a divorce agreement is drawn up, usually the ex-spouses are thinking about how to settle their lives -right now-. You’re thinking about how to split today’s finances, but not what will happen when finances change in the future. You’re thinking about how to split custody with the children at their current ages, not the custody complications of teen years. You’re thinking about taking those first steps forward after your divorce, but not what will happen in a few months or years when each ex finds someone new.
However, forgetting these things when designing your divorce can spell disaster in the future. One of the major benefits of uncontested divorce in Chicago is that you get the chance to cover these bases. Working with a mediator who can tell you what to prepare for, you can draw up reasonable and equally agreeable terms for how to handle these changes if or when they occur. Today, Split Simple is here to take a look at the top three most common post-divorce life changes that your divorce settlement should be prepared to handle. This way, you won’t have to renegotiate terms or take your new divorce terms back to court should circumstances change in a predictable way.
New Romantic Partners
The whole point of divorce is to free up both exes to find happiness elsewhere. Usually, with someone else. Eventually, you, your ex, or both of you will find new romantic partners and begin to build new separate family lives. This is all well and good, but the natural process of moving on can also impact the practicality of your divorce agreements. You’ll want a few clauses in place to clearly define when and how a new partner changes the terms of your divorce.
If one ex makes significantly more than the other, there may be a few years of alimony on the line. In some rare cases, indefinite alimony. However, the responsibility of spousal support is removed if the supported ex chooses to build a life with someone new. Every state defines the termination lines of alimony differently. Here in Illinois, if the person receiving alimony either remarries or cohabits with a new partner, the duty to pay spousal support is canceled.
You can keep this eventuality cordial by writing the terms clearly in your agreement for uncontested divorce in Chicago. This way, both spouses know exactly when alimony will stop, and there doesn’t need to be additional court dates, conflict, or investigations to settle the issue.
In most situations, a new partner or spouse of either ex has no impact on child support. Neither does taking on responsibility for step-children. However, if your partner or your ex’s partner starts contributing to your children’s home or lifestyle, the income of your spouse may be considered to be modified. In other words, if a new partner starts taking care of your kids, the child support equation may change.
The final concern is one that blindsides many but can be planned for: Someone else contributing to raising your kids. Maybe you have a new partner who is part of home life when the kids are with you. Perhaps your ex has someone new who has started giving advice, rides to soccer practice, and making house rules when they’re with your ex.
In either situation, the other co-parent will want to be in the loop and have some influence on new parents in their children’s lives. Consider what terms might work for you and your ex while building your agreement for uncontested divorce in Chicago.
Income Loss or Increase
Loves move on after a divorce, and this is a good thing. Most of the time, both partners make more money over time and grow more distant. Alimony expires, children grow up and support payments stop. But sometimes, fortunes change considerably in either direction. Bankruptcies and investment failures, inheritances and sudden business success. Or a significant lifestyle change after cohabiting with a new parter.
Your divorce agreement should be prepared with some reasonable terms in case either ex experiences significant financial changes in the future.
If there is an alimony agreement, there should also be adjustment clauses based on the comparative incomes of the two spouses. Including reasonable concessions for temporary circumstances like illness or periodic unemployment.
Reasonable child support is based on what each parent would contribute to the kids if they were still sharing a household. Significant increases or decreases in fortune will inevitably reform this equation. Traditionally, getting child support payments adjusted to account for times of hardship or increased when fortunes improve is a hostile hassle. But if you foresee this as a problem, consider working a periodic re-assessment of incomes and agreeable assessment terms into your divorce papers.
Getting a new job or a significant promotion always has the potential to turn a co-parenting divorce agreement on it’s head. From child support to parenting time to taking the kids out of state, you’ll want a few built-in methods to deal with this kind of change. After all, neither you nor your ex can predict whether you will get a job opportunity in the future that will require you to move, signifcantly change your schedule, or alter your financial path.
Changing the Custody Schedule
New jobs have a way of changing our lifestyles. A job that starts as little as two hours later can change your entire parenting time hand-off strategy. And if you’re assigned a new pattern of days on and off the job, then you’ll need a custody schedule that allows for a flexible weekly schedule.
Both co-parents should be prepared to work with their ex’s to ensure that equitable parenting time is achieved, even if that means sometimes changing the exact details of the shared custody agreement. With divorce mediation, when you reach anuncontested divorce in Chicago, you can build your shared definition of fairly shared custody, with flexibility concerning days of the week and periods of time children spend with each parent.
Moving to a New City / State
Then there are jobs that move one parent to a new city — or even more complicatedly — to a new state. Taking children out of state is always a thorny issue, and not just because swapping custody is a greater effort. Your divorce agreement should include terms for parents who want to take the kids on out of state vacations and for new jobs that change the location of their home to somewhere much further away.
In these situations, you may need longer-duration custody sharing and commit to fast and safe travel between parental homes. The divorce should not limit either co-parent from taking job opportunities, instead promoting any possible lifestyle and experience opportunity benefits for the kids.
Contact a Divorce Mediator in Chicago Today
Building a strong divorce agreement is all about finding reasonable solutions for current and future conflicts. When your divorce papers have understood and agreed-on terms for all common life changes, you and your ex can grow apart gracefully without any need for future fights about alimony changes, child support, or a naturally evolving custody agreement. For more insights into customizing your divorce or to start on the path of a well-built agreement for uncontested divorce in Chicago, don’t hesitate to contact Split Simple today!Split Simple
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