Enforcement and Modification of Orders in Sussex and Warren Counties
Helping you get the post-judgment relief you need
A final decree of divorce may not always be final in Sussex and Warren Counties. When circumstances change or when new information surfaces concerning the various issues that a divorce comprises, modification of orders may be necessary. And when one party refuses to follow a court order, a judge may need to get involved once again. At Hollander, Strelzik, Pasculli, Hinkes, Wojcik, Gacquin, Vandenberg & Hontz, L.L.C., our commitment to our clients does not end when they receive a final divorce decree. Our attorneys are still here to help you should your circumstances change or should the other spouse or parent become belligerent and noncompliant. Whether we handled your original issue or you had another attorney and are looking for a change, our lawyers can help you take the steps you need to accomplish your goals without unnecessarily interfering with your life.
Modifying and enforcing domestic orders
Child support orders are perhaps the most frequently modified domestic decrees. However, child custody and parenting time orders are also commonly changed from time to time. The portions of your divorce decree that pertain to equitable distribution and alimony are less likely to be modified, although alimony can be changed under some circumstances. All types of domestic orders, however, carry the force of law and are subject to enforcement in court. This means that if your spouse refuses to pay child support or alimony, does not turn over your child at the time required in your custody order or retains property that was supposed to go to you, a judge will want to hear an explanation. There are a number of enforcement tools available to judges under these circumstances, the most serious of which are holding the person in contempt or even in prison.
What circumstances justify modification?
While the exact requirements for the modification of orders depend on the type of order being modified, the general rule is that a material and substantial change of circumstances or the consent of both parties is required:
- Child support — Child support can be adjusted post-judgment if the income of either parent significantly increases or decreases, if the needs of the child substantially change, if the custody arrangement changes or if the child becomes emancipated. Parents do not have the right to waive child support or to agree to a support amount that is less than what the guidelines provide.
- Child custody — Child custody or visitation can be modified if there is a substantial change to any of the factors courts consider when making child custody determinations or if both parents agree to a modification. In either case, however, the court must be convinced that any modification is not detrimental to the child.
- Alimony — Post-judgment applications regarding alimony are more often applications to reduce alimony than to increase it. This can occur if the paying spouse retires or experiences an involuntary reduction in income or an increase in cost of living. It can also occur if the payee spouse remarries or receives a substantial increase in income.
Contact our Newton firm for post-judgment legal help
As a client of Hollander, Strelzik, Pasculli, Hinkes, Wojcik, Gacquin, Vandenberg & Hontz, L.L.C., you can count on our attorneys for help with any modification and post-judgment issues that arise following your divorce or child custody and support dispute. Call our office today at 862-273-3465 or contact us online to set up a meeting with one of our experienced Sussex County lawyers.