Can the terms of my Judgment of Divorce or Settlement Agreement be changed?
If you have a divorce settlement agreement or a final judgement of divorce decision that had been rendered by a judge and some time has passed and circumstances have changed, please understand that you can go back to court and ask for some type of modification. Modifications in the State of New Jersey are allowable under certain circumstances. You just have to understand whether or not your circumstances rise to a level of being permitted to change the terms of your original Judgement Of Divorce or Settlement Agreement.
For example, if you have an original Child Support Order that is in effect and you want to make a change, look at the original terms that existed at the time that the original order was put into effect. When you go to court, you will give to the judge: the original support agreement, the original child support guideline worksheets, and the original case information statement. You will then need to explain to the court what has transpired between the time of the original effectuation of the order and the time now that you’re asking for the adjustment to take place, and provide the court with a new Case Information Statement and new suggested Child Support Guideline Worksheet. The court will hopefully agree with you that the circumstances have been substantial enough to warrant your adjustment that’s been requested.
How do I make sure my ex spouse lives up to the court ordered, final divorce agreement factors?
When you have a final judgment of divorce and a final settlement agreement, everything contained in that document is enforceable. So, if you have an ex who is not abiding by the terms and is defaulting, start a paper trail. Email that person about their delinquency or failure to abide, or otherwise get confirmation in writing that you have called this person out on it. Make sure your communications are direct and to-the-point: “Paragraph such and such requires you to do this. You have failed to do it. I expect you to immediately cure your default. In the event that you don’t, I’m going to seek court intervention.” And if that person does not respond effectively, by curing that default, simply go to court. Ask for a notice of motion. File a petition for enforcement. The court will absolutely enforce your agreement because it’s a valid and enforceable contract. The terms of your agreement are binding. You have to be cautious because you don’t want to give the impression to the court that a period of time has expired and you didn’t bother to hold your ex to the terms that were set forth in the document. So just be careful. If those provisions were put forth for a reason, expect them to be carried out and honored.