Post Judgment Modification

When a couple finalizes a divorce or family law matter, the judge's decision is legally binding. Whether a couple goes to trial or utilizes mediation to come to a conclusion, the judge will always have the last word on divorces and child-related issues. Judges will often decide on important issues including:
  • Child support
  • Spousal maintenance
  • Child custody and visitation

After the orders and judgments are detailed and passed down, they are legally binding and only post-judgment modifications will allow for deviation. Long Island courts understand that circumstances change. If either spouse has significant changes to their situation, the court will hear their claim and judge accordingly.

Child support modification explained

When parents separate and children are involved, child support will commonly be a factor in the case. Whether ordered through trial or mediation, things change and parents may need to modify payments. To obtain a child support modification, a parent must demonstrate a significant, unforeseen, and continuing change in situation to the court. Some of the factors that constitute a significant change of circumstances include, but are not limited to:
  • The loss of employment
  • Increase or decrease of income
  • Change of custody

Spousal maintenance modification explained

Similar to child support, spousal maintenance also requires an unforeseen major and continuing change in circumstances to one or either spouse regarding the ability to pay the support or the other spouse's need for the maintenance. Some relevant factors when requesting a spousal maintenance modification include, but are not limited to:
  • Ability to be financially independent
  • Loss of employment
  • Illness

If the paying spouse has been found to be voluntarily underemployed or unemployed in order to avoid or modify the payment structure, the court will judge against the paying party, adjusting maintenance according to their potential earning capacity

Child custody and visitation schedule modifications explained

Similar to the other issues that constitute post-judgment modifications, child custody, and visitation schedules also can be reviewed and adjusted if a spouse can demonstrate a substantial and ongoing change of circumstance. The court will hear arguments for modification if it relates to the best interests of the child. Some relevant factors when requesting a change in child custody and visitation schedules can include:
  • Parental alienation
  • Relocation issues
  • Medical issues with the child or parent
  • Change in a parent's work schedule
  • Negative change in school performance
  • Exposure to third parties that pose a danger to the child's best interests

To discuss modifying your judgment, contact Abraham & Jesselson Law Group, LLC for a consultation.