According to the America Bar Association (ABA), post judgment modification cases are some of the most challenging legal proceedings. Just like the initial marriage dissolution process, the post-divorce matters can end up being as complex, both legally and emotionally.
Divorce proceedings are never easy, and while most parties find relief, this is not always the case as circumstances change. There are situations where one party is no longer content with the decree’s terms and conditions or they are unable to abide by those terms. This is especially the case where maintenance, child support, and custody come into the picture.
The New York State law allows for alterations to a divorce decree, allowing for modifications in child support, custody, visitation, and maintenance. However, the process of altering the initial order is no walk in the park and the party making the petition is expected to 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 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!
What Is a Post-Judgment Modification Lawyer?
New York law allows for alterations to a divorce decree, allowing for modifications in child support, custody, visitation, and maintenance.
For the court to agree to an alternation in a divorce decree, concrete evidence showing that a substantial change in the circumstances following a grant of a divorce decree actually occurred should be presented.
A modification may be needed due to an array of reasons. In some cases, the non-custodial spouse’s income may change, requiring them to amend the settlement to reflect their current financial situation.
In other cases, the parents may wish to switch the child’s primary residence. Here at Douglas Family Law Group, our seasoned attorneys will be able to represent you in your post judgment modification case. We will handle everything and keep you in the loop at every stage.
Why Should You Hire a Divorce Modifications Lawyer?
Chances are you have many questions and concerns when dealing with a post-divorce issue including whether you should hire a post judgment modification lawyer. Should you handle the case on your own or should you go about it on your own?
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. At the end of the day, however, they all have something in common. These kinds of issues entail complex legal points and are more often than not, emotionally charged.
That said, here are some primary reasons you should have the right New York family law attorney by your side.
According to the America Bar Association (ABA), post judgment modification cases are some of the most challenging legal proceedings.
This calls for the involvement of a lawyer well-versed in family law. A post judgment modifications 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 can feel confident in our ability to ensure that your petition is finalized as fast as possible. Our post judgment modification attorneys in White Plains have extensive knowledge of New York divorce laws.
Emotions can easily run high during a divorce modification, making it hard to make rational decisions. A divorce modification lawyer will provide objective advice and guidance that isn’t influenced by emotion. They will help you understand the potential consequences and suggest options in your best interest.
Post-judgment modifications involve hefty paperwork and it’s important to make sure everything is handled properly. Even minor mistakes can have major consequences like delaying your case or even causing you to lose the case.
A divorce modification attorney will help by filling out all the paperwork correctly. With an expert by your side, you not only avoid doing all the paperwork but also filling out the wrong documents.
The divorce modification process can be stressful and so, having someone to help you legally wise is always a plus. A post judgment modification lawyer can take care of all the legal details, allowing you to focus on other issues. They can answer any queries you may have, provide guidance & support and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the proceedings.
Our lawyer can handle all communications with the other party. This means you do not have to talk to your former spouse, vastly alleviating your stress and freeing up your time. In addition, it can help protect you from the natural impulse of stating things that may come to bite you later if used against you in court. Examples include negative comments or promises to give up certain rights or assets.
Higher Chances 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 skilled attorney will help present your case in the best possible light, thus improving your chances of winning. They will help collect the necessary evidence, prepare legal arguments and ensure that your case is presented persuasively.
This might seem counterintuitive, but hiring a divorce modification lawyer can be cost-effective in the long haul. Working with a reputable attorney can avoid costly mistakes and ensure your case is handled properly. In addition, you are more likely to get a faster resolution with an experienced lawyer compared to representing yourself.
What Are Some of the 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 ask for 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.
When Can Maintenance be Altered in New York?
In New York, maintenance can be altered under the following conditions.
- A significant change in circumstances has occurred.
- There has been at least a 15% change in one of the party’s income.
- At least 3 years have passed since the spousal support rule was put in place or modified.
However, it is imperative to keep in mind that the alterations are not automatic and the party seeking modifications still has to petition the court asking for an official change to maintenance payments.
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 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.
From here on, the other 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 modifications 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 to be guilty of domestic violence.
- One of the parents was found to have a substance abuse issue.
- One of the parties has developed a severe medical issue.
- The child has developed a physical, mental, or emotional disorder.
- The custodial parent often relocates.
- The custodial parent has unpredictable working hours or constantly changes jobs.
- The custodial parent has seen a substantial income change.
- The custodial party 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 Substantial Change in Circumstances Entail?
It’s highly unlikely for the court to 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. Examples 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 young one.
- A change in the child’s medical insurance coverage.
- An additional child has become the legal responsibility of the non-custodial party.
Child Support & 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 way to go about it is by consulting a seasoned child support modification for the best strategy to enforce a child support order.
Failure to pay child support comes with various repercussions including property seizure, garnishing wages, withholding tax refunds, suspending a business license, and revoking the driver’s license. If the party responsible for child support is found to have significant arrears, they risk jail time.
Hire a New York Post Judgment Modification Lawyer Today
Have your circumstances in a divorce changed and 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 the right 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.
The Douglas Family Law Group has a team of reputable lawyers adept in New York’s family law. We have experience in divorce modifications and have helped many people come to better terms and conditions in White Plains and surrounding areas.
With a New York post judgment modification lawyer, you will be in a less stressful position to deal with your case. Call us at 914-615-9058 to schedule a consultation!