EP 33: Can I Change My Divorce Settlement?

Can I Change My Divorce Settlement?

Welcome to the thirty-third episode of the Divorce and Your Money Podcast. Shawn Leamon, MBA and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, discusses whether or not you can change your divorce settlement.

Divorce settlements can be modified, but it is a difficult process and only possible under certain circumstances. For a property settlement, for example, only if you can prove fraud, error, or a major mistake could it likely be modified. It is critical to be aware of what you are agreeing to before signing the settlement agreement.

You might have to think about a couple of things if you are considering modification. In some states, there is a 30-day window to review the property settlement after it has been finalized. Mistakes and fraud can lead to modification. The most common form of fraud is when one spouse hides assets. If you have any suspicions, you need to put together a good financial team to help you pursue any hidden assets. The second scenario, which is less common, is when some kind of technical mistake occurs. If there is a mistake in a calculation, then you can appeal for modification.

Spousal and child support can be modified, but this depends on the state where you live. If you lost your job, or had a salary reduction, an illness or a disability, or remarried, then you can potentially modify spousal and child support. Upon remarrying, you might not have to pay those payments, depending upon the way your settlement is worded. In case of cohabitation of your spouse, you might not need to make the payments anymore. For the ones receiving spousal or child support, they also need to be aware of how their new relations are going to affect the payments.

If one spouse’s income increases substantially, it could also be grounds for modification. You will require a good attorney to help you with this process.

Key Learning Points:

  • Regarding property settlement, if you can prove fraud or a major mistake, the settlement can likely be modified.
  • Some states have a 30-day review period after you finalize the divorce settlement.
  • Spousal support and child support can also be modified under certain conditions.

Thank you for listening to the Divorce and Your Money Podcast. We hope the show helps you through one of the most difficult periods of your life. Shawn Leamon is also author of Divorce and Your Money: The No-Nonsense Guide. One-on-one divorce coaching services are available at www.divorceandyourmoney.com.

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Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA

Dallas, Texas

Shawn C. H. Leamon is Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, a firm that helps successful families manage large financial transitions like divorce, inheritance and selling a business.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College, double majoring in Economics and Philosophy, and his Masters in Business Administration at Spain’s IE Business School.

Before founding LaGrande Global, Shawn helped manage $1.1 billion in client assets at Bernstein Global Wealth Management. He also worked as a credit research analyst at J.P. Morgan. He is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, and he has been an advisor to numerous high-stakes divorce cases.

Shawn is the author of two well-received finance books: Managing Private Wealth: Principles, and Divorce and Your Money: The No-Nonsense Guide, both published in 2016.

In his spare time, Shawn is an ultra-endurance athlete and has competed in events as long as 24 hours. He is an Eagle Scout and a member of the Alumni Board of Greenhill School.