Modifying a Settlement Agreement in New Jersey

When spouses divorce, they must 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 changes in life. This can only be done if the individual can prove the request is based on a permanent, significant, and sudden change in their circumstances.

Child Support 

When divorced individuals have children, support payments can be decided by the court. There are some cases in which, over time, a parent may request to modify the payment amount. This modification can either be an increase or a decrease in the amount of the payment. 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

Similar to 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 be modified if there is a significant change in one or both of the former spouse’s circumstances. This can be a change in the spouse’s ability to pay the support or the other 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 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. To determine if a modification should be made, the court will listen to both sides for and against the change and make a decision that is in the best interest of the child. 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 Offices of Haber Silver & Simpson today.

If you require strong legal representation for matters related to divorce or family law, Haber Silver & Simpson is here to help. We proudly represent clients in Morris County and throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.