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What Issues Can Arise With a Settlement Agreement Post-Divorce in New Jersey?

No one’s life stays the same forever. As we grow, we experience a variety of changes that can bring our life in different ways. When people go through changes in their life after a divorce, there are ways that their settlement agreement can be impacted. This may affect alimony, child custody, child support, parenting time, etc. It is because of this that adjustments or enforcements may need to be made. Continue reading below to learn more and contact an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney for help with your case.

What is a Modification?

After entering into a divorce agreement, a former spouse’s life may change in a variety of ways. This can lead them to want a modification in certain areas of their agreement so that it can better suit their new circumstances. This may be in the event of the following:

  • A child reaches the age of emancipation and no longer needs child support payments
  • A child is in college and financial responsibility must be determined
  • Either party is living with another person and no longer needs support from their former-spouse
  • If there are changes in the child’s schedule, a former spouse’s custody terms, parenting time, and visitation schedule may need to be adjusted
  • If either party receives a promotion, demotion, loses their job, becomes disabled, etc., there may be a need in spousal or child support payment amount
  • If either party exposes their child to domestic violence, substance abuse, a serious mental illness, etc., custody agreements may need changing

How are Divorce Settlements Enforced?

When a final judgment is made in a divorce, everything that is contained in the agreement is enforceable by law. This means that if one party does not abide by the terms, the court can make them, or impose consequences. The first step in enforcing the terms of a settlement agreement is beginning a paper trail. This can start with written (text, email, etc.) notice to the person of their delinquency in a direct way that states their failure to follow the agreement. If they do not respond effectively, the matter can be brought to court. This is possible by filing a petition for enforcement. 

Two ways the New Jersey Rules of Court enforces custody arrangements can include “motion to enforce litigant’s rights” or “additional remedies.” Enforcing the litigant’s rights may include a fine or possibly even incarceration. Additional remedies may include the following:

  • Compensatory time with the children
  • Economic sanctions
  • Modifying transportation arrangements
  • Pick-up and return of the children in public spaces
  • Counseling for children or parents
  • Temporary or permanent modifications to the arrangement
  • Participation by the violating parent in an approved community service program
  • Incarceration
  • Issuance of a warrant if violations continue

Contact our Firm

If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.