Judgment Modification

According to the American Bar Association (ABA), post judgment cases are some of the most challenging legal proceedings. Just like the initial marriage dissolution process, the post-divorce matter can often end up being complex, both legally and emotionally.



Divorce proceedings are never easy. While most parties find relief following a divorce action, sometimes the relief fades as circumstances change. There are situations where one party is no longer content with a divorce decree’s terms and conditions or they are unable to abide by those terms. This is especially the case where maintenance, child support, and child custody come into the picture.



The New York State law allows for alterations to a divorce decree. This means that child support, child custody, visitation, and maintenance can be modified. However, the process is not simple. The party making the petition must prove that there has been a substantial change in the circumstances since the original decree warranting the modification.



To ensure that your rights are protected and have the best chances of success, it is imperative to understand the modification process and hire an experienced New York Post Judgment modification lawyer.



The team of lawyers at Douglas Family Law Group has extensive experience in this field and you can expect top-tier representation. Call us today at 914.615.9058 to schedule a consultation and learn more about your post-judgment modification options.






Why Should You Hire a Divorce Modifications Lawyer?

Chances are you have many questions and concerns when dealing with a post-divorce issue. While a post judgment case can involve an array of issues, some are more common than others. These include child support, visitation, and custody matters. Financial disputes can also come up following a divorce. All of these have something in common: They entail complex legal points and are often emotionally charged.



To ensure that the most sound and fair decisions are made, a post-judgment attorney can help.





Legal Expertise

Post Judgment modifications call for the involvement of a lawyer well-versed in family law. A post judgment modification attorney will provide the legal expertise required to not only understand your rights and options, but also guide you through the legal process.



With the team at Douglas Family Law Group, you will feel confident that your petition is finalized as fast and as effectively as possible. Our attorneys are well-versed in New York divorce laws.





Objective Advice

Emotions can easily run high during a divorce modification. This often makes it card to make rational decisions. A divorce modification lawyer will provide objective advice and guidance that isn’t rooted in emotion. They will help you understand the potential consequences and suggest options in your best interest.



Avoid Mistakes

Post-Judgment modifications often involve hefty paperwork. Even minor mistakes can have major consequences like delaying your case, or even causing you to lose your case. Therefore, it is important that you make sure everything is handled properly from start to finish.



A divorce modification attorney will help with filling out all of the paperwork accurately. With an expert by your side, you not only avoid doing all of the paperwork, but also filling out the wrong documents.





Reduce Stress

The divorce modification process can be stressful. Having someone to help you legally will help to reduce some of the inherent anxieties of the modification process. Your attorney will answer your questions, provide guidance and support, and ensure that your rights are being protected throughout the proceedings.



Handle Communications

Our lawyers can handle all communications with the other party. This means you do not always have to talk to your former spouse, which can help alleviate your stress and free up your time. In addition, it can help protect you from the natural impulse of speaking out loud some thoughts that could damage your case in court, such as saying negative comments about the other party or promising to give up a certain asset.





Higher Chance of Success

Navigating divorce modification can be challenging and this makes it even more important to have a lawyer by your side. An experienced and killed attorney will help develop litigation strategies to present your case in the best possible light. They will help collect the necessary evidence, prepare legal documents, and ensure that your case is presented persuasively.




Modifications to Maintenance

New York family law courts are not usually enthusiastic when it comes to reopening maintenance cases with the aim of modifying the amount of spousal support a party has been ordered to pay. Maintenance modification is almost always complex as it involves proving that the party is in financial need or perhaps they no longer require those payments.


Below are some of the most common reasons people seek alterations in maintenance:


  • The paying party has become unemployed.
  • The paying party has experienced an unexpected illness.
  • The paying party has experienced a pay reduction.
  • The receiving party has remarried.
  • The receiving party has become self-supporting.
  • The receiving party is cohabitating with a new partner.


Can Maintenance by Altered in New York?

In New York, maintenance can be altered under the following conditions:


  1. A significant change in circumstances has occurred.
  2. There has been at least a 15% change in one of the party’s income.
  3. At least 3 years have gone by since the spousal support rule was put in place or modified.


However, it is important to note that the alterations are not automatic nor guaranteed for parties seeking them. The party seeking the modification will have to prove the qualifying factor justifying a change in maintenance to the court.



What are Some of the Modifications to Child Custody?

Child custody proves to be one of the toughest post judgment issues after a couple decides to go their own ways. Usually, when a contested divorce becomes a complex child custody dispute the court will decide who will take custody of the child based on an array of factors. Then, either party may or may not be expected to cover child support. If circumstances change for any reason, the child custody arrangement must be modified with the help of a post-judgment modification attorney.



Here are some of the most common reasons for changes to child custody:



  • One of the parents is moving.
  • There has been a change in the child’s living arrangements.
  • One party’s residence has become unstable.
  • One of the parents was found guilty of domestic violence.
  • One of the parents was found to have a substance abuse issue.
  • One of the parents has developed a severe medical issue.
  • The child has developed a physical, mental, or emotional disorder.
  • The custodial parent relocates.
  • The custodial parent has unpredictable working hours or constantly changes jobs.
  • The custodial parent has seen a substantial income change.
  • The custodial parent regularly fails to make the children available for visitation by the other parent.
  • The child is over 12 years old and wishes to stay with the other parent.


What Does a Substantial Change in Circumstances Entail?

It is highly unlikely for the court grant the request for an alteration in child custody unless there is concrete evidence showing that you or your former spouse has experienced a significant change in circumstances. Example of substantial changes include job loss, change in lifestyle, criminal conduct, or remarriage.



Regardless of what has occurred, it is advisable to have a post judgment modifications lawyer review your case to determine whether a child custody order needs alteration.






What Are Some of the Modifications to Child Support?

In the state of New York, child support orders can be modified through the Family Court or the Child Support Review Process. If both parties agree, the review process tends to be way faster compared to a court hearing.



Here are some of the common circumstances when child support can be modified, include:



  • At least 3 years have passed since the last order was modified or established.
  • The child has developed a physical, mental, or emotional disorder.
  • The spouse has experienced material and substantial changes in their circumstances.

Material and substantial changes in this regard refer to:



  • A significant change in the income of the noncustodial party.
  • A change in the living arrangements of the child.
  • A change in the child’s medical insurance coverage.
  • An additional child has become the legal responsibility of the non-custodial parent.


Child Support and Visitation

It is important to note that child support and visitation are two different things. The visitation right of a noncustodial parent differs from their obligation role. The custodial party doesn’t have the legal right to prevent the noncustodial spouse to see or visit their child simply because they have not made their child support payments.



If the non-custodial party is behind on their child support payments, the best thing to do is to consult with a seasoned child support modification lawyer for the best strategy to enforce a child support oder.



Failure to pay child support comes with various repercussions including property seizure, garnishing wages, withholding tax refunds, suspending a business license, and revoking a driver’s license. If the party responsible for child support is found to have significant arrears, the can even risk jail time. 






Hire a New York Post Judgment Modification Lawyer Today

Have your circumstances in a divorce changed and do you feel that your current state warrants the alteration of the terms and conditions of your divorce decree? If so, you may have the right to seek a modification in a court of law.



Family law in New York allows alterations to child support, child custody, maintenance, and other elements of the initial divorce decree. However, this applies only if there has been a significant change in the circumstances of one party, and this change can be proved.



Unfortunately, the laws that govern post-judgment modifications are complex. You need an experienced and knowledgeable person by your side to guide you through the nuances of the legal process.



Douglas Family Law Group is here for you. Our team of reputable lawyers are adept in New York family law and have helped many people come to better terms and conditions in White Plains and surrounding areas.



With our experienced lawyers, you will be in a less stressful position to deal with your case. Give us a call at 914.615.9058 to schedule your initial consultation.






50 Main Street Suite 935

White Plains, New York


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