During divorce proceedings, couples must settle and come to agreements regarding their marital issues. Any decisions made are required to be finalized by a judge. This includes decisions made during mediation, as a judge reviews them before they are final. In any court case, a judge’s word is considered the law. This means that once the conclusions are final, they must be followed and can be enforced by the court. However, the court system in New York realized that family situations can change over time. It is because of this that modifications are able to be made to a settlement agreement, even after it is finalized. This is so that it may accommodate any changes in a family’s life. Modifications can only be made if one or both of the spouses can provide evidence that the changes are significant and ongoing.
Child Support Modifications
When a divorcing couple has children, the court must determine child support payments. There are some cases in which a parent may request to modify these payments over time. When looking for a modification, it can consist of either request an increase or decrease in the payments. Situations in which a modification may be asked for can include:
- A change in custody arrangements
- Loss of employment
- An increase or decrease in income
- If a child requires money for medical treatments
Similar to child support, a spouse may owe their former spouse support payments after the divorce. This is also referred to as Alimony. Alimony payments are settled by the court to avoid further conflict between the spouses. They can also be modified if there is a major change in one or both of the spouse’s circumstances. Modifications may be necessary in the event of a change in a spouse’s ability to pay the support or a dependent spouse’s need to receive it. Situations in which modifications may be necessary may include:
- Loss of employment
- A change in income
- An illness
- A spouse’s ability to become financially independent from the other spouse
Custody and Visitation Schedules
A child’s custody situation and a parent’s visitation schedule can also be modified. Similar to other modifications, one or both of a child’s parents are required to prove a considerable and ongoing change in their life. A judge listens to arguments both for and against the modification before reaching a decision. Once this is done, they come to a conclusion that is in the child’s best interest. Reasons for modification may include:
- If one parent relocates
- Any medical problems with the child or a parent
- A change in a parent’s employment
- Parent alienation
- A negative change in the child’s school performance
Contact our Firm
If you or someone you know is looking to modify a family arrangement, contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. today.
Peter V. Mandi, Esq. is an experienced divorce and family law attorney located in Bohemia, New York. If you require strong and dedicated legal representation in Long Island, New York, contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. today for a free consultation.