Modifying Settlement Agreements in New Jersey

During divorce proceedings, couples are required to settle many marital issues. All decisions made regarding these issues must be finalized by a judge. Even decisions made during divorce mediation have to be approved, as the judge reviews the decisions before they are final. In any court case, a judge’s word is considered the law. This means once decisions are reached, they must be followed and can be enforced by the court. However, the New Jersey court system is aware that family situations are subject to change over time. Because of this, modifications can be made to a settlement agreement even after it is finalized. This is so it can accommodate any significant changes in the family’s life. Modifications can only be made if one or both of the spouses can prove these changes are considerable and ongoing.

Child Support Modifications

When a couple has children and decides to divorce, child support payments are decided by the court. Sometimes, a parent may request to modify the amount of these payments over time. These modifications can either ask for an increase or a decrease in the payment amount. Situations in which a modification may be requested can include:

  • A change in custody arrangements
  • Loss of employment
  • An increase or decrease in income
  • If a child requires money for medical treatments

Spousal Support

Like child support, one spouse may owe the other spouse payments to support them after the divorce is over. This is also referred to as Alimony. The payments are decided by the court, not the spouses, in order to avoid further conflict. These payments can be modified if there is a major change in one or both of the spouse’s situations. They may be required in the event of a change in a spouse’s ability to pay the support or a dependent spouse’s need to receive it. Modifications can be made to this if a former spouse experiences:

  • 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 are settlements that can also be modified. Similar to other modifications, one or both of the child’s parents must prove a significant and ongoing change in their life. To determine if the modification is necessary, the court listens to both arguments for and against it. Once this is done, they come to a conclusion that is in the child’s best interest. Reasons for modification of these arrangements 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 Ross & Calandrillo, LLC. today.

Ross and Calandrillo, LLC is a full-service divorce, family, and real estate law firm located in Mountainside, New Jersey. For strong legal representation in all of your divorce or family law matters, contact Ross and Calandrillo, LLC to schedule a consultation.