Can I go back to court to revise a divorce settlement if the divorce has been less than 1 year?

Asked over 1 year ago - Raleigh, NC

I was divorced in December, 2012. Originally my separation agreement ordered my husband to give me a monthly alimony. In the divorce settlement, I agreed to settle for a yearly payment for the next 10 years (which was substantially lower than a my monthly alimony would be) due on January 1st of every year. In 2013 I did not even receive it until the last of April, 2013. We were married for 23 years. I live a very frugal life and work, but make minimal income. I would like to go back to court and ask for my original monthly alimony that had been granted in the separation agreement. Financially he is able to do this. I cannot pay all my obligations, and am about to loose my health insurance. Is this type of action possible? My ex-husband does not communicate with me at all.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Amanda Bowden Houser


    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . First, you are using some words inaccurately and you will want to be able to talk about these things accurately if you ever have to go to court or in discussion with an attorney. A Separation Agreement does not 'order' anything and nothing is 'granted' in it - these words refer to actions of the court. Separation Agreements are contractual agreements so you will want to use the words 'agreed to' in referencing your original Separation Agreement and any unincorporated terms. You probably won't have much luck going back to the monthly payments you agreed to but if the yearly payment was court ordered for January 1st and he did not pay until April, why have you not filed a Motion to Show Cause on January 2nd? You could potentially recover any damage(s) the late payment caused you plus reimbursement for attorney fees. Spank him with that one good time and that should be all the communication you need with him. He will most likely not be late again!

  2. Mary Jean Gurganus

    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I would recommend you show this to your prior attorney or a new attorney so that the Ttorney can review the language and to evaluate your chance of success. If there has been a substantial change of. Ircumstances since the judgment, an attorney can advise you about a substantial change of circumstances.

Related Topics


Divorce is the process of formally ending a marriage. Divorces may be jointly agreed upon, resolved by negotiation, or decided in court.

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