Why Would Someone Change Their Final Divorce Decree?
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There are two main reasons a person might seek to have their final divorce decree changed. The first is if one party is not paying the alimony or child support they were ordered to pay. The party who should be receiving that pay would file an enforcement action to get the court to compel the other party to make the payments. The same applies to situations where one party was supposed to sell a house or remove the other party’s name from a mortgage.
The second reason is if there has been a substantial change in circumstances that warrants a modification of an alimony or child support order. For example, if a paying party got laid off from their job and suddenly has half the income they did previously, then they might be able to show the court that they have suffered a permanent and substantial change in circumstances. If the paying party was only temporarily laid off, then that probably would not be sufficient to obtain a reduction in alimony or child support payments. In order for a change in circumstances to be considered substantial, it usually has to last for more than one year.
Cohabitation with an unrelated person by the party who is receiving payments might be grounds for a suspension or termination of an alimony obligation. The other basis for a modification or termination of an alimony obligation is if a party retires and reaches the age of retirement according to Social Security. If a child becomes emancipated, then that might be a basis for termination of child support. However, if the child attends college on a full-time basis, then they would not be considered emancipated until they graduate from college or reach the age of 23. In some cases, transfers of certain assets such as pensions from one party to the other should occur but never do; this may warrant filing an enforcement action with the court.
In trying to get a final divorce decree modified, the most important step is to file a case information statement (i.e. financial disclosure) with the court. This disclosure would set the guidelines for whether or not there has in fact been a substantial change in circumstances. The court will want to see both the old and new case information showing a permanent and substantial change in circumstances. The three most important items to keep after a divorce are as follows: the divorce decree, the final judgment of divorce, and the case information statement.
What Is The Process For Modifying A Divorce Decree?
In trying to obtain a modification of a divorce decree as it relates to alimony or child support, an individual will have to file an enforcement action with the court and show that they have experienced a permanent and substantial change in circumstances. If an individual believes that the other party is abusing or adversely affecting their children, then that would be a basis for seeking modification to a custody agreement or visitation arrangement. In serious cases, the state may remove the custody rights of one or both parents. Litigation often occurs for modification of custody and visitation arrangements.
For more information on Modifying A Divorce Decree In New Jersey, a Personalized Case Evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (732) 733-2830 today.
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