Can an agreement in a divorce be modified? 15 Answers as of February 26, 2013

When I got divorced, I wanted an out of court settlement and in order to do so, my husband said I had to agree to not receive any of his retirement pensions. We were married for 17 years with 5 kids and I did not work much during my marriage because I was busy attending the kids. Can this case be reopened for me to receive child support and part of his retirement after i have already agreed to none of it?

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Fox Law Firm LLC
Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
As for child support, you are entitled to child support, but you are not entitled to his retirement, which is why it is called the "final" divorce decree, the information contained within is the final decisions of all parties.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 2/26/2013
Rebecca Rainwater
Rebecca Rainwater | Rebecca Rainwater
You can modify the child support order. However, you may not be able to reopen the issue of distribution of retirement. Did you waive spousal support? You should consult a family law attorney to receive a consultation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/25/2013
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
If the decree was signed less than 30 days ago, yes. If it has been more than 30 days, No! This is what happens when you play lawyer. No decent divorce lawyer would have let you sign such a one sided agreement. You got a royal screwing and you sat there and agreed to it. The law insist on finality, it is the backbone of the law, for without finality that can be relied upon by the parties the resolution of a legal dispute would mean nothing. I wish I could tell you who said that, I am sure it is from some famous speech or case law. Regardless of who said it, you are out in the cold. You wanted something, you got it, now you have to keep it.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 2/24/2013
Cantin Lawyers PC | John Morris
In Connecticut there is a process to modify alimony and child support orders post-judgment. We do not permit modification of property division orders. However, there is a limited process to reopen a Judgment when there is fraud, mutual mistake, and certain other limited reasons. This will require a good attorney's assistance.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 2/21/2013
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
You can most likely re-open to modify the child support, but not the retirement or pensions. Once you waive interest, it is forever waived. You should consult with an attorney though if you think your child support might need modifying.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/21/2013
    Darrell B. Reynolds, P.C. | Darrell B. Reynolds
    One can seek a modification depending on their situation. You need to sit down with an attorney to look at the entire picture of you divorce and your circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 2/21/2013
    Law Offices of Wendy LC Fountain,  A PC
    Law Offices of Wendy LC Fountain, A PC | Wendy L Christensen Fountain
    In California, current child support is always modifiable if there has been a change in circumstance. You cannot retroactively go back and get child support. As for the retirement benefit, if you stipulated to waive your interest in this asset in the Judgment, you cannot now ask for it. If however, you have issues of fraud or inducement of some nature, and the time to challenge the Judgment has not expired, you may have an option of setting aside the Judgment. Consult your local family law specialist to assist in you in reviewing your specific facts to see if modification of support is in order and if for any reason the Judgment can be challenged.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/21/2013
    Law Office of Eric S. Lumberg | Eric S. Lumberg
    Child support can always be modified. The property settlement can not unless certain factors exist. Consult with an attorney to discuss these issues further.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/21/2013
    Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
    Child support, generally, yes. Anything else, no.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/21/2013
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    You can go back for child support but if you have a judgment on the division of property you cannot modify that unless he agrees.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/21/2013
    Gateway Legal Group | Christian J. Albut
    Most likely the issue with the retirement would be done. However, it would depend on the language of the agreement and final judgment itself. It may have reserved the issue of retirement benefits subject to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). However, if it was not then you have waived those rights. As to child support, you would be entitled to support as long as the children are still minors. You can always modify child support based on needs. You would have to go into court and seek a modification of said child support.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/21/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    Maybe child support, but not the property settlement.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 2/21/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    See an attorney who will have to look at the settlement which, I assume, was filed with the court. In general you will not be able to revisit the pension issue but may well be able to seek and receive child support if you are the custodial parent.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/21/2013
    You can probably get child support. You probably gave up the retirement for good.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/21/2013
    Carey and Leisure | John Smitten
    no. You cannot reopen the file.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/21/2013
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