Divorce agreements cover many details, including child custody, child support, property division, health insurance and many other specifics based on the details of a family’s life. The difficulty is that at the time a divorce agreement is ruled upon and issued, it’s impossible to foresee all future circumstances. Therefore, it’s often necessary to return to court to modify the terms of your existing Divorce Judgment. Massachusetts’ law allows for changes to be made to certain provisions as long as the legal standards are met.
Merging Vs. Surviving Provisions
Divorce provisions are classified as either “merging” or “surviving.” These are legal terms that should be included in your Separation Agreement. “Merging” means that the provisions of your Judgment can be modified at a later date if circumstances warrant the change and the burden of proof is met. Examples of provisions in your Judgment that may merge include child custody, child support, college education payments, health insurance benefits, and alimony. “Surviving” means that the provisions of your Separation Agreement cannot be modified in the future except in limited circumstances. Examples of surviving provisions often include the division of assets and sometimes alimony. [Continue reading]