Can Modifications Be Made to a Settlement Agreement in New Jersey?

During divorce proceedings, couples have to settle all of their marital issues. Any decisions made during this process are required to be finalized by a judge. Decisions made during divorce mediation also must be approved, as the judge reviews them before they are final. In any court case, a judge’s word is considered the law. This means that once these conclusions are final, they must be followed and can be enforced by the court if they are not. However, the court system in New Jersey is aware that family circumstances can change over time. Because of this, modifications can be made to a settlement agreement after it is finalized. This is so that it may accommodate any changes in the family’s life. Modifications can only be made if one or both of the spouses can provide evidence that the changes are significant and ongoing.

Child Support Modifications

When a couple going through a divorce has children, child support payments must be decided by the court. There are some cases in which a parent may request to modify these payments over time. These modifications can either request an increase or a decrease in the payments. 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 owe their former spouse support payments after the divorce. This is also referred to as Alimony. The payments are determined by the court to avoid further conflict between the spouses. They can also be modified if there is a major change in one or both of the spouse’s life circumstances. Modifications may be necessary in the event of 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 situation and a parent’s visitation schedule can also be modified. Similar to other modifications, one or both of a child’s parents are required to prove a considerable and ongoing change in their life. A judge listens to arguments both for and against the modification before reaching a decision. Once this is done, they come to a conclusion 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 The Radol Law Firm today.

Before taking any sort of legal action, it is important to discuss your legal matter with an experienced attorney. Contact The Radol Law Firm to discuss any divorce and family law matters you may be faced with.