Family Court Order Modifications Lawyer in Bergen County
Keep Your Support or Custody Orders Up to Date with Sherwood, Johnson & Poles
Court orders in family law cases are designed to be long-term arrangements, but the problem is that life is not static. As time passes, lives evolve and change, which can make certain arrangements outdated and irrelevant. In order to ensure that you and your family are abiding by court orders for child custody, child support, or alimony, it is essential to keep those orders up-to-date. With help from a Bergen County family law attorney, you can apply modifications to these orders so that they accommodate current lifestyles.
At Sherwood, Johnson & Poles, our team has more than 60 years of combined legal experience, over which we have acquired extensive knowledge, skill, and understanding of complex family law matters. We use our insight to handle each case with a unique, personalized approach, understanding that one size does not fit all in this area of the law. Our mission is to ensure help families reach agreeable resolutions that meet their needs and interests.
Can I Modify a Support Order?
As much as we want our finances to be stable, the truth is that our financial status is constantly changing – sometimes dramatically.
Court ordered child support and spousal support are drafted according to the current financial standing of both parties, but what happens when that standing changes? If the change isn’t expected to be permanent– such as for a medical emergency or transitory hardship – you can make a temporary modification to support orders.
Permanent modifications may apply in the following scenarios:
- One party loses his or her job
- One party gets a new job with a different income
- One party remarries, and his or her new spouse’s income becomes a factor
- Increase to the cost of living
- Permanent disability of either parent
- Significant changes to a child’s needs
- Changes to child or spousal support laws
These modifications can be made either through collaboration, meaning both parents agree to the changes, or through requesting a court order. If you and your ex-spouse do not agree on proposed changes, you must ask for a court hearing and prove that the circumstances warrant a modification.
Agreeing to a Modification of Child Support
There is a way to go about modifying a child support order without going to court, and that is by sitting down with your ex-spouse and having a discussion until you are able to agree on a modification both of you find acceptable. However, you must still ask a judge to approve the change.
Assuming the amount you have both agreed is not well below your state’s guidelines, receiving a judge’s approval should not be an issue. If you do not formalize this modification with a judge’s approval and your ex-spouse later goes back on his or her word, however, then you could still be held responsible for all the previous sums of money you did not pay.
Modifying Custody Orders
Generally, child custody orders are fairly more difficult to alter, mostly because the child’s best interests are honored above all else. Changes to custody orders are typically only made in the most extreme of scenarios. If your family is simply having trouble maintaining a working schedule, the schedule itself should be re-examined, not necessarily the custody order as a whole.
Some reasons that a custody order might be modified include:
- One or both parents are relocating
- One parent remarries or lives with an abusive spouse
- One parent has developed a habit or lifestyle that endangers the child
- One parent has eliminated all reasons why he or she lost custody initially
- The child of a mature age requests the change, and the change is within his or her best interests
If you believe that the best interests of your child have changed and want to request a modification to your custody order, our family lawyers can help you understand your legal options.
Get the Family Law Help You Need in Bergen County, NJ
Sherwood, Johnson & Poles is ready to fight for the best interests of your family. We are happy to offer evening appointments to accommodate the busy schedules of our clients and offer free initial case evaluations to ensure that you understand your options and how to move forward. Make sure your court orders keep up with your ever-changing lifestyle and retain our firm today.
Our Bergen County family law attorneys are ready to take your call.