When you divorce, you have most likely exerted considerable effort negotiating a parenting plan and reaching a satisfactory separation agreement. The process is usually long and tiring, so it is frustrating if one party later seeks to change the arrangements significantly.
Couples living apart sometimes experience situations that require altering their separation agreement or parenting plan. You must apply to the court to “vary” your agreement. If you need to vary an agreement or your former spouse seeks to do so over your objection, immediately contact a Kawartha Lakes post-divorce disputes lawyer. A local divorce legal professional at The Riley Divorce & Family Law Firm could help you and your former spouse reach an equitable solution.
Parenting plans and separation agreements are usually presumed as final. However, circumstances and needs change over time, and sometimes the change is significant enough to adapt a divorce agreement in response.
When a change in circumstances makes an existing agreement undesirable, variation is often the most satisfactory and cost-effective solution. The Divorce Act s.17(5) and the Family Law Act s.37 allow variations if the change underlying the request is significant and unanticipated. Some events that merit varying an arrangement regarding parenting time, child support, spousal support, or other issues include:
Discuss your situation with a seasoned legal professional before deciding whether to request or oppose varying a parenting plan or separation agreement. A knowledgeable post-divorce disputes lawyer in Kawartha Lakes could suggest how best to reach your goals.
Variation by mutual consent is possible if you and your former partner can negotiate details together. For example, a parent’s health challenges might require the children to spend most of the time living with their other parent. The parents could modify their parenting plan to reflect the new arrangement, which would also require changes to the child support agreement.
You could negotiate the change with your former partner or seek a mediator’s help to agree on all the details. A post-divorce disagreement lawyer in Kawartha Lakes could then file a Consent Motion to Change with the court that issued the original order. The court would review the motion and variations and incorporate them into a formal order.
If you and your former spouse disagree about the need for variation, taking the dispute to mediation or arbitration is usually the best first step. Achieving an agreement outside of court keeps control in your hands and reduces expenses.
However, if you cannot reach mutual consent, the person seeking variation could file a Motion to Change, and the opposing partner would file a Response to Motion to Change. Both forms require substantial supporting documentation. A Kawartha Lakes post-separation dispute lawyer could ensure that all proper documents are filed on time to enable the judge to make an informed decision regarding the proposed variation.
When possible, the judge considers the written material and makes a ruling based on the documents. Sometimes, the judge might schedule a hearing to question the parties in person about the need for the variation.
Sometimes, life’s changes force you to consider modifying your original divorce agreement. Whether you favor or oppose the change, you will benefit from a consultation with a Kawartha Lakes post-divorce disputes lawyer.
Now you can have your Consultation with Paul Riley any time from the comfort of your own home. With video calls from Zoom, your Team at The Riley Divorce & Family Law Firm can meet with you virtually, and learn about your case. All you need is a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop with a built-in camera and microphone.
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