Modifications (Divorce & Paternity Judgments)

Modifications (Divorce & Paternity Judgments)

When filing for divorce, both spouses expect the divorce to remain finalized, which is true as to property division and, potentially, spousal support.  However, those provisions in the Separation Agreement relating to child and modifiable spousal support must be subject to modification to the extent that either party has a material and/or significant change in circumstances form the date of the last judgment.

Divorce and paternity judgments may be modified for various reasons including changes in income reducing or increasing child support, life changes which effect parenting time and custody to name a few. At the Law Office of Melanie Soloman, you will be advised on the filing options, process, and estimated length of time to resolve the issue(s) to be modified.

Interim Relief Pending Resolution of a Complaint for Modification

Each client’s case is different and, some, require immediate intervention. In the event that an emergency exists and the emergency requires immediate intervention of the court, Attorney Soloman will file a Motion for Temporary Orders to address the emergency.  Emergencies include the immediate reduction of child support due to a job loss or temporary suspension of income due to varying reasons, an immediate increase of child support due to the other parent’s increase income, injury or addiction of one parent require the other to immediately seek custody, among dozens of other issues.

It is important to understand that not all changes in one’s position in life will require immediate court intervention.  Attorney Soloman will offer guidance and advice regarding the appropriateness of filing a Motion for Temporary Orders.

When to File a Complaint for Modification

Complaints for Modification at any time, however, there is a general understanding of the court that a modification should not be filed within six (6) months of the date of the prior judgment.  While this is not a rule or law, it is generally understood that, barring exigent circumstances, a change should not occur within six (6) months of the prior judgment on the same issue.

When a former spouse or parent experiences a material and/or significant change in circumstance that s/he believes would warrant modification of the prior judgment, it is imperative to seek legal advice right away.  Failing to promptly address the issue may result in an outcome that is either not as favorable as expected or not favorable.  For example, a parent suffering from a significant decrease income cannot request that the court retroactively reduce the order of child support to a date sooner than when the Complaint for Modification was filed.  If the payor parent waits weeks or months to file a Complaint for Modification to reduce child support, then that parent overpaid child support, but is not entitled to a credit.

Changes to prior judgments must be timely addressed.  Contact Attorney Soloman for a review of your prior judgments and to discuss your current change in circumstances to learn more about your options.