Post Divorce FAQs: The following is a list of common and frequently asked questions on the topic of post-divorce issues in New Jersey.
Please note that our answers fall under New Jersey jurisdiction and may not apply to you should your family law or divorce legal issue be located out of the state of New Jersey.
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.
Post Divorce – Alimony:
My ex-wife and I are divorced. We entered into a Marital Settlement Agreement where we both agreed that we did not want alimony. Can she now go back to court and get it 3 years later?
If your Marital Settlement Agreement, or MSA was clear about you and your ex both waiving alimony, it is highly likely that the court will enforce the MSA and not grant your ex alimony at this time. It is very difficult to go back into court after an agreement is reached and convince a judge to change the terms of the agreement. Your ex would have to prove some sort of fraud, pressure or duress on your part which is a difficult case to prove. Consult an attorney if you have received paperwork that shows your wife has filed a request with the court for alimony.
Post-Divorce: College Tuition
Will the judge in my case order my ex-husband to reimburse me for college tuition that I paid for our son without any contribution from him? Our divorce judgment says he would assist with our children’s tuition but he has refused, and I had to take out a loan to pay for our son’s first semester.
If your final judgment of divorce or marital settlement agreement clearly states that you will both be responsible for your children’s college tuition, then it is likely your husband will ordered by the judge to help you with the payments. Ideally, your judgment of divorce or agreement spells out specifically how much each of you must contribute for the tuition. If payment terms and responsibilities are vague, then a judge will have to review your incomes and make a determination now about how the costs should be allocated between the two of you. I suggest filing a motion to enforce litigant’s rights with the court where you were divorced, asking that your husband be ordered to follow the judgment of divorce with regard to college tuition.
The Answers You Need
For answers to your specific questions, please call us today to request an initial consultation. Whether your post-divorce issues involve child custody or child support modification or enforcement, alimony modification or enforcement, QDROs and other retirement assets, or related matters, our skilled and knowledgable divorce and family law attorneys can set you up with a strong legal strategy to help you achieve your goals.
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