Modifying a Settlement Agreement in New Jersey

When a couple goes through divorce proceedings, they must settle several marital issues before the divorce is official. All decisions made during this process are required to be finalized by a judge. Decisions made during divorce mediation also must be approved by a judge before they are final. In all court cases, a judge’s word is considered the law. This means once the conclusions are made, they must be followed and can be enforced by the court if they are not. However, the New Jersey court system knows that family situations can change over time. Because of this, modifications are able to be made to a settlement agreement after it is finalized. This is to accommodate any changes in the family’s life. Modifications can only be made if one or both spouses can prove the changes are significant and continuous.

Child Support Modifications

When a divorcing couple has children, child support payments must be decided by the court. A parent has the right to request a modification to these payments over time. This can either be a request to increase or decrease the payment amount. 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

Spousal Support

Similar to child support, a spouse may be required to pay support to their former spouse after the divorce. This is also known as Alimony. These payments are determined by the court to avoid conflict between the spouses. They are able to be modified if there is a major change in one or both of the spouse’s situations. Modifications may be necessary if there is a change in a spouse’s ability to pay the support or a dependent spouse’s need to receive it. This may be necessary 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 can also be modified. Like other modifications, one or both of a child’s parents must prove a considerable change that is going on in their life. A judge listens to arguments both for and against the modification before coming to a decision. Once this is done, a conclusion is reached 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 Paris P. Eliades Law Firm LLC. today.

Paris P. Eliades Law Firm, LLC is honored to serve the people of New Jersey, including Sparta, Sussex County, Morris County, Passaic County, and Bergen County with the quality legal services they deserve. Contact our firm for a consultation today.