In New Jersey, it may be possible to modify the support provisions of an existing Order or Property Settlement Agreement based on a substantial change in circumstance, unless you have a non-modifiable divorce Order or Settlement Agreement. There are a number of indicators under New Jersey law as to whether there’s a true change in circumstance.
If you are the party who has the changed circumstances, it’s your responsibility to explain and document your change in circumstance clearly. In other words, in your motion papers, if, for example you lost your job, you must present documents proving you lost your job and did not just quit, show how you tried to get a new job, prove the steps you took, and provide the severance package details and any other relevant information to make your case. A judge will then make a decision whether there is a change in circumstance and a hearing will determine what that change will mean. As it takes months for the court to schedule and actually conduct a hearing after which a decision will be made, we can also offer, as an alternative, the options of mediation, arbitration and collaborative law approaches to any post-judgment issues, rather than going back to court.
If one party feels that the divorce settlement is unfair but there’s no change in circumstances, there’s very little that can be done. Unless there is a substantial change in the circumstances of the parties, the court will not change the support provisions of the divorce settlement agreement or divorce decree or judgment.
If you don’t think a negotiated settlement of your divorce is fair, don’t sign it and don’t put it on the record in open Court – that’s the bottom line. When it’s put “on the record”, the judge asks a lot of questions to make sure both parties feel it is fair and agreeable to them. This makes it difficult to overcome at a later date. That being said, if one spouse is not complying with the support payment obligation or shared child custody terms of the agreement, we can request a motion to enforce the parental rights or other obligations imposed by the agreement.
Charny, Karpousis, Altieri & Donoian, P.A. is a highly-recognized team of lawyers exclusively practicing Family Law. If you need legal advice on a Family Law issue in South Jersey, please contact our Mount Laurel offices at (856) 505-1700 to schedule a confidential consultation today. You can be confident you will attain the highest level of quality advice specific to your case.
Our experienced South Jersey family law and divorce attorneys provide legal advice and representation to clients throughout Southern New Jersey, including those in Mount Laurel, Maple Shade, Moorestown, Bordentown, Burlington Township, Cinnaminson, Delanco, Delran, Riverton, Easthampton, Westhampton, Southampton, Hainesport, Lumberton, Medford, Medford Lakes, Shamong, Tabernacle, Evesham, Marlton, Cherry Hill, Voorhees, Haddonfield, Berlin, Blackwood, Gloucester Township, Oaklyn, Barrington, Magnolia, Haddon Heights, Haddon Township (Westmont), Laurel Springs, Lindenwold, Sicklerville, Somerdale, Runnemede, Glendora, Mount Ephraim, Stratford, Collingswood, Audubon, Gibbsboro, Bellmawr, Clementon, Merchantville, Pennsauken, Waterford, Deptford, Gibbstown, Glassboro, Harrison, Logan, Mantua, Mullica Hill, Pitman, Sewell, Turnersville, Washington Township, Wenonah, West Deptford, Westville, Williamstown, and Woodbury, and other municipalities in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland, Atlantic, Ocean, Mercer and Middlesex Counties.