New York Divorce: What Issues Can Be Modified?
If you have already finalized your divorce, there are certain issues that cannot be modified. For example, the property division settlement or judgment generally cannot be reopened. However, there are some issues that are always open to post-judgment modification. The most notable examples include:
- Child Support: Child support obligations are determined by weighing both the child’s needs and the financial status of each parent. In the event that there has been a significant change in circumstances, child support obligations can be altered.
- Child Custody & Visitation: Child custody and visitation arrangements are always subject to modification. Until the child becomes a legal adult, there is a possibility that circumstances will change and a new custody or visitation agreement or order will be needed.
- Spousal Support (Alimony): Under New York law (DRL §236B(6)(E)(1)), state family law courts can adjust alimony awards. Though, it should be noted that alimony modifications are only granted in limited cases.
You Must Prove a Substantial Change in Circumstances
There are two basic types of divorce modifications: those that both parties have already agreed to, and those in which one party is seeking a medication over the objection of the other party. If you and your former spouse have reached a settlement on a proposed modification, New York family courts will generally, but not always, go along with the proposed arrangement. However, if there is not an agreement, things can become complicated.
Often, New York family law courts are not eager to award modifications. The basic assumption of the courts is that the current arrangement is appropriate. The party that is petitioning for the modification must overcome that assumption. To get a family law modification, you should be ready to present compelling evidence that proves that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. That change in circumstances must be sufficient to justify a modification, and your proposed modification must make sense given the new circumstances. You should work with an experienced New York modification attorney who can help you present a strong case.
Contact Our Otsego County Divorce Modification Lawyers Today
At The Colwell Law Group, our New York family law attorneys have extensive experience handling divorce modifications. To learn more about what we can do for you, please contact us today to set up your fully confidential initial consultation. We represent clients throughout Otsego County, including in Oneonta, Cooperstown, Otego, Cherry Valley, and Richfield Springs.