Some people feel a sense of panic at the finalization of their divorce. If you weren’t entirely thrilled with the terms, the final court decision could appear unjust or undeserved. Thankfully, there’s always an option to challenge specific terms or conditions of a finalized divorce. This is called a post-judgment modification. A post-judgment modification is precisely what it sounds like. It’s a judgment that takes place after a finalized decision. This opportunity to appeal or modify certain aspects of the divorce will happen for a number of different reasons. Below we showcase five different examples of reasons why someone might want to file for a post-judgment modification.
Modifications to Child Custody
If children are involved, it’s quite common for a post-judgment modification to be made after the finalization of a divorce. Changes are inevitable, and this is especially true with children. Modifications to child custody may come in the form of visitation arrangements or changes to their primary residence. The noncustodial parent may wish to have more visitation time or want to file for shared custody. In other cases, the primary custodial parent may want to share more time with the noncustodial parent due to scheduling issues or changes in employment. Overall, each case is unique and may require modifications in custody due to a number of different reasons.
Modifications to Child Support
Of course, when there are changes to child custody, it may also result in changes to child support, although this doesn’t happen every time. These types of modifications exist separately, and one may or may not affect the other. A post-judgment modification to child support could be due to a change in the primary caregiver’s income, a change in school tuition, or a change in living expenses. Those who pay child support may need modifications due to a decrease in income or unemployment. Modifications in child support are very serious, and the parent filing for a post-judgment modification should be able to support their reasons behind this request sufficiently.
Modifications to Alimony
There are a plethora of reasons to request a post-judgment modification to alimony payments. You may have had a change of employment that’s resulted in a significant loss of income. This may be a reason to modify the amount of alimony you receive. On the other side of the coin, if you’re paying alimony and you’ve lost your job or had a significant decrease in income, you may want to request a reduction in alimony payments. Other adjustments to alimony might be due to remarriage, relocation, or cohabitation with a new partner. One person might have a change in the cost of their living arrangements that requires an increased or decreased amount of alimony.
Modifications Due to Changes in Divorce Law
Another valid reason why a person may want to file a post-judgment modification to their divorce is because of a change in divorce law. For instance, new divorce laws in 2019 state that alimony will not be tax deductible to the payer or the recipient from this point on moving forward. This may result in either party wanting to make adjustments to alimony because of this new law. While new laws like this won’t affect some divorcees, it may affect you and your ex-spouse. If a divorce law changes your cost of living circumstances, you may want to file for a post-judgment modification. However, you will have to prove that the new divorce law presents a significant burden.
Modifications Due to Disability, Financial Emergencies, or Death
Everyone knows that a disaster can occur at any moment. That’s why the courts have made it possible to file for post-judgment modification if there’s an accident, death, or financial emergency. Of course, if one person has a debilitating illness or suffers from a disability, there would need to be a change to the terms of alimony, child custody, or child support. If the payer of alimony or child support becomes disabled, a reduction in payment is often necessary. If the recipient of the alimony or child support becomes disabled, there might be a request to increase support payments. Financial emergencies, due to things like medical emergencies or property damage, happen every day. Thankfully, the courts are open to modifying terms that offer forms of relief to families.
For More Information on Post Judgement Modifications
If you’re not content with the final judgment of the terms of your divorce, it’s essential to contact a Stockton divorce attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can help you to decide if you have just cause to file for a post-judgment modification. If you’re unhappy with the conditions of your child custody, child support payments, or alimony, an attorney can help guide you through the necessary steps to request a modification. Contact Bansmer Law today to learn more about your options.