During a divorce, you have to make many decisions concerning you future. You also have to examine much of your current state of financial affairs, develop a property settlement that you and your former spouse can agree to, and put together a child custody and support plan. This can seem overwhelming, but it is important to get it right the first time, because it can be expensive to have to return to court and litigate additional issues with your former spouse.
Issues like child support, child custody, visitation and parenting plans are all subject to modification at a later time, if you can show there has been a substantial or significant change in circumstances since the initial decree was ordered. However, we always point out that other issues, like the property settlement are much more difficult to modify.
In most states, you have to show that there was actual fraud on the part of your former spouse before a court will permit you to reopen a property settlement and demand a change in the allocation of assets.
While it is difficult, occasionally there are examples of this happening. The most recent involves Frank McCourt, the former owner of the Los Angles Dodgers. His ex-wife, Jamie, is claiming he fraudulently persuaded her that he was only worth $300 million, including the value of the Dodgers.
The problem for him is that two months after the divorce was final, he sold the Dodgers for $2.1 billion. It may be difficult for him to argue that he did not know what the sale price of the Dodgers was going to be when his divorce completed.