Modifying Settlement Agreements in New Jersey
When couples go through divorce proceedings, they are required to settle their marital issues before the divorce is considered final. All decisions, regardless of how they are reached, must be approved by a judge. Once the arrangements are finalized by the judge, it is considered a law. This means that once the conclusions are final, they must be followed. Otherwise, they can be enforced by the court.
The New Jersey court system is aware that family situations can change over time. It is because of this that they allow modifications to be made to settlement agreements after it is finalized. This ensures that if the agreement no longer suits the circumstances of the family, they can adjust it so that it can accommodate these changes. It is important to know that modifications can only be made if evidence shows that the changes are significant and ongoing.
Child Support Modifications
When parents decide to divorce, they must determine arrangements for the future of their children. One of the ways this is done is by child support. This requires one parent to make payments to the other in order to continue financially supporting their child after the divorce. Sometimes, a parent may request to modify the amount of these payments over time. 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
Another form of financial support that exists after a divorce is spousal support. In these situations, a spouse may owe support payments to their former spouse after the divorce. This is also known as Alimony. These payments can be modified if there is a significant change in one or both of the spouse’s lives. Modifications may be needed if there is a change in a spouse’s ability to pay the support or a dependent spouse’s need to receive it. Changes may be needed 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
One of the most important arrangements that are made after the divorce of two parents is child custody. This determines their living situation and a parent’s visitation schedule. Over time, these can be modified if either parent or the child experiences changes in their lives. In these situations, one or both of a child’s parents must prove a major and ongoing change in their life to receive a modification. When this happens, the judge assesses both arguments for and against the modification. 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 need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.