New Jersey Divorce Lawyer Explains How You Can Change a Property Settlement Agreement
Here’s a question clients often ask me as a New Jersey Divorce Lawyer that you should know about. You’re already divorced and you have a property settlement agreement, but you want to modify that document. How do you go about doing that? It’s an order of the court, and you want to change it. Do you have the right to simply get up one day and say, “I don’t feel like doing this anymore”? No. Not at all. Something has to have occurred to make your life different than it was when you entered into that agreement, or when it was ordered by a judge. The legal term that applies here is “change in circumstances.”
Let’s look at this example: You went to trial. Then, later, you lost your job. You got hurt on the job and no longer have the ability to continue in your particular area of work. That’s a change in circumstance because you said you were going to be paying spousal support of X dollars based on your continuing to work and earning X dollars. Now, you can’t work and earn X dollars. Therefore, you can’t pay the specified support amount. You have to go back to court and make sure the judge understands that there has been a change of circumstances that makes it impossible for you to sustain the support you said you were going to pay. That’s an example relative to support.
Let’s talk about custody and parenting. Your child, who is now 12 years old, was five when you were divorced. You are a professional golfer and your child is involved in Junior Golf because he wants to pursue a career as professional golfer. Now, you find yourself spending a lot more overnights with your child than you initially did when you were first divorced. That’s a change of circumstance which may come into play when it comes to child support. Your document says you see the child once a week and now, all of a sudden, you’re seeing the child four times a week. That’s a material change in circumstances, which may allow for a review of child support.
Let’s say something else has happened in your life since your divorce. Something outside what you initially contracted or agreed to when your judgment of divorce was entered. It could be any of a number of different issues, but the relevant term is “change of circumstances” or “change in circumstances.” It means something is different than it was when you put through the judgment of divorce. You can go back to the judge and ask that the original document be amended.
Did you have a change in circumstances that requires you to change your property settlement agreement? Contact New Jersey Divorce Lawyer Christopher Leon Garibian for guidance on modifications.
Christopher Leon Garibian, Esq. is a partner in the matrimonial and family law department of Weiner Law Group LLP. He has over 19 years of experience handling a multitude of Divorce and Family Law Matters throughout New Jersey. He is passionate about family law and takes pride in his ability to effectuate real change in the lives of his clients. He is certified by the State Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Attorney. If you are in need of an experienced Divorce Attorney or Family Law Attorney in NJ, contact us today for compassionate, long lasting legal solutions.