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When you and your spouse come to an agreement about the terms of your divorce–or when a court does so for you–a divorce judgement will be issued. A divorce judgement is a legal order that outlines responsibilities and duties of each party post-divorce, such as who will have custody of a shared child, what the other party’s child support obligation will be, how property is to be divided, and whether or not one spouse will be required to make alimony payments to the other.

Following the terms of a divorce judgement is important; the failure to do so is a breach of a court order. But months or years after a judgement in a divorce case is issued, circumstances may change dramatically, making the terms of the judgement unreasonable or difficult to satisfy. If you find yourself in this situation, a modification of a divorce judgement may be appropriate. To learn more, call our Ulster County divorce modification lawyers today.

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What Issues Can Be Modified After a Divorce?

Not all parts of a divorce judgment can be modified after being determined by a court. Indeed, a property division settlement cannot be modified, no matter how much you find it to be unfair or unreasonable. However, those issues that can be modified include:

When Modification Is Permissible

As explained by New York City Bar, a divorce judgment can only be issued when a substantial change in circumstances has occurred that makes the modification reasonable. While the change in circumstance standard applies to spousal maintenance and child custody cases, in child support cases, a modification may also be sought in the event that:

  • Three years have passed since the order initially went into effect; or
  • There was an involuntary change in either party’s gross income of 15 percent (up or down) since the order was entered into or last modified.

How to File a Petition for Modification of a Divorce Judgement

In order to modify a post-divorce order, you will need to file a petition for modification with the appropriate family court. Your petition must contain information that proves that you have experienced a substantial change in circumstance, and why this change in circumstance warrants a modification. For example, perhaps at the time your divorce was finalized, you had decided to move out of state, and therefore only asked for visitation with your child during the summer months. Now, however, you have returned to Ulster, and are living just a few miles from your child. As such, you would like to see your child on a bi-monthly basis rather than just a week during the summer. This would qualify as a significant change in circumstance.

As a note, you and your ex-spouse can decide to modify a divorce judgment on your own. If both of you are in agreement about the modification, the process is easy, and the request will almost certainly be honored by a judge. If you are in disagreement, though, the process becomes more complex and expensive and will require the court making a decision about whether or not to grant your request for modification.

Our Ulster Divorce Modification Lawyers Can Help

If you have questions about how to modify a post-divorce judgment in Ulster, we can help. For your initial consultation, please call or text us today. We have the experience and competence you’re looking for in a legal professional.

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