A decision by a judge in a divorce case may seem final, but when the circumstances that influenced that decision change, so can the terms and conditions of a divorce. Challenging specific aspects of a divorce is called a post-judgment modification. Here are the top 7 reasons why you should consider a post-judgment modification.
1. Unfit Parenting
While many custody battles are rife with meritless accusations of unfit parenting in an attempt to reduce or avoid child support payments, it is quite another matter when the accusations are confirmed through other agencies. When child protective services or police interaction demonstrate that the children are in danger or are being neglected, the courts can intervene on your behalf through a post-judgment modification.
2. Paternity Judgement
A paternity judgment may alter a father’s right to visitation and obligation to child support payments, depending on the circumstances. If the child is very young, a paternity judgment may absolve a father of any responsibility toward the child. In the case of older children who have known no other parent but their presumed father, a paternity judgment may not influence a father’s legal responsibilities.
3. Visitation Issues
Visitation issues can arise from a myriad of circumstances, including the physical relocation of either parent or the changing needs of a child. The visitation needs of an infant would likely differ from that of a ten-year-old. When visitation issues are a matter of scheduling and both parents agree on the modification, the issue can be resolved quickly and easily. If one parent is refusing to follow the original custody terms or parents are disagreeing on how they should be modified, the process of modification can become much more difficult.
4. Change In Divorce Law
Any changes in divorce law that may affect either party may be a reason to pursue a post-judgment modification. An example of this is a law that states that alimony is no longer tax deductible for the payer or taxable for the recipient. With the payer now shouldering the tax burden, this law shifts the finances in favor of the recipient. A post-judgment modification can adjust the alimony payments to account for the shift in tax burden.
5. Change In Income
Because the original divorce is based on a particular financial picture of both parties at the time of the divorce, any significant changes to that financial picture can influence the need for a post-judgment modification. These changes include an increase or decrease in income for either parent, a change in living expenses, or a change in daycare costs or school tuition. If the recipient of payments has a significant increase in income or the payer has a significant reduction income, these are circumstances when the payer would want to pursue a post-judgment modification.
6. Family Emergencies
A death, accident, or financial emergency can happen at any time and maybe a reason for a post-judgment modification. For example, if the custodial parent is hospitalized with significant injuries and unable to care for the children during a long recovery, a post-judgment modification can allow for the other party to care for the children full-time.
7. Due to Disability
In some cases, a post-divorce injury or illness can cause permanent disability. A disability may affect either party’s financial situation and their ability to care for the children. For example, when a disability causes financial hardship to the recipient of payments, this may be a reason to request an increase through a post-judgment modification.
Bergman Family Law Can Help
If you feel your circumstances warrant a post-judgment modification, I can help. Bergman Family Law helps families in Florida with all of their family law needs. Find out how Bergman Family Law can help you with any aspect of a divorce. Contact me today.