Can Settlement Agreements be Modified in New Jersey?
When spouses divorce, they reach decisions on many marital issues. Before the divorce is official, all decisions are finalized by a judge. This is even true for divorces through mediation, as the judge reviews the couple’s decisions and approves or denies them. In all court cases, what a judge decides is considered the law. This means that once the decisions regarding family law are made, they must be followed and can be enforced by court order. However, courts are aware that a family’s situation can change. It is because of this that modifications can be made to an order after it is decided in order to accommodate significant changes in life. This can only be done if one or both of the former spouses can prove these changes are major and ongoing.
Child Support Modifications
When children are involved in a divorce, support payments can be decided by the court. There are some cases in which one parent may request to modify the payment amount. This modification can either be an increase or a decrease in the amount a parent owes. Situations in which a modification may be asked for can include:
- A change in custody arrangements
- Loss of employment
- An increase or decrease in income
- If a child requires money for medical treatments
Like child support, one spouse may owe the other support payments. This is also called Alimony. The amount paid is often decided by the court in order to avoid problems between the spouses. These payments can also be modified if there is a significant change in one or both spouse’s circumstances. This can be a change in the spouse’s ability to pay the support or a spouse’s need to receive it. Modifications can be made to this in the event of:
- Loss of employment
- A change in income
- An illness
- A spouse’s ability to become financially independent from the other spouse
Custody and Visitation Schedules
A child’s custody arrangement and a parent’s visitation schedule may also be modified. Similar to other marital issues, one or both of the parents must prove a major and ongoing change in their life in order to modify the arrangement. Like the original custody case, a court will listen to both sides for and against the modification and make a decision that is in the child’s best interest. Reasons for modification may include:
- If one parent relocates
- Any medical problems with the child or a parent
- A change in a parent’s employment
- Parent alienation
- A negative change in the child’s school performance
Contact our Firm
If you or someone you know is looking to modify a family arrangement, contact the Law Office of Toby Grabelle, LLC. today.
The Law Office of Toby Grabelle, LLC is a family and divorce law firm serving Monmouth County and all of New Jersey that would be happy to assist you in legal counsel. If you need quality legal services, contact the firm for a consultation.