When Circumstances Change, What Are Your Options?

Understanding child and spousal support when the boat rocks

A divorce decree is meant to be final. Visitation is set. Child support is set. Alimony is set. The economic picture that existed at the time of your divorce, however, may not hold steady for the many years following your agreement. You may need more money or have less money to provide.

With years of experience, the Murano & Roth, LLC, team understands what is required to document a significant and lasting change in circumstances. We prevail in modifying and defending against modification of parenting time, child support and spousal maintenance.

A legal document is required for modifications

A divorce judgment is legally binding, so you cannot simply revise it on your own. You must enter into a consent order or file a motion in family court for a ruling by the judge. The term "change of circumstances" is interpreted subjectively by the courts. What may amount to a valid change for your family in one court may be rejected for a different family requesting a modification from another court. Each situation and each judge's view of it is different.

What constitutes a change in circumstances?

First, in order for a change in circumstance to even qualify you for a modification, it must be significant, long-lasting and must not have been anticipated at the time of the divorce. Once you are over that considerable hurdle, the court reviews the same factors it did in its original divorce decree before ruling on the modification motion, among them:

  • The dependent spouse's needs
  • The supporting spouse's ability to pay
  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • The needs of the children
  • The best interests of the children

The court may also examine how you and your ex spent your income and used your assets. You cannot seek more funds or plead poverty if you are not responsible with your money.

Some examples of a change in financial circumstances include:

  • Job loss of either party
  • Increased income of either party
  • Emancipation of the child
  • Remarriage or cohabitation of the dependent spouse

When it comes to altering parenting time plans, significant changes in circumstances might include:

  • Relocation of either party's home
  • A parent's lack of suitability to care for a child
  • Drastically revised work schedules

Deciphering whether you have adequate grounds for a change in support or visitation can be frustrating and overwhelming. One of our New Jersey attorneys can provide substantial guidance through this complex modification process.

Call today to speak to an effective family law attorney

Every family situation is unique. For a review of the facts of your case, contact Murano & Roth, LLC online or at 201.265.3400 for a free 30-minute consultation. You will find us to be resourceful advocates for you and your family.

“Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple.”
– Albert Einstein

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800 Kinderkamack Road, Suite 202N, Oradell, NJ 07649
| Phone: 201.265.3400

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