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What is a divorce modification?

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2021 | Divorce

A divorce order in New Jersey isn’t necessarily permanent. You have to abide by the divorce order, but if the situation changes, you could request a modification. A divorce modification could result in a better situation for you, although the judge has to approve the request first.

Why would you seek a divorce modification?

After your divorce, the judge might order you to pay child support. Many people don’t realize that child support payments don’t automatically end–you have to request emancipation when your child is no longer eligible. If the judge rules that your child no longer qualifies for child support, your obligations are over.

You might also request a modification if you want to move to another state. If you have a child together, your divorce order might not allow you to move to another state without a judge or your estranged spouse’s permission. A judge might modify your order so you can relocate with your child. Similarly, you might need to request a modification if the current visitation schedule doesn’t work for you.

Finally, you could request a modification if you need to decrease your child or spousal support payments. If your financial situation changes drastically, you can’t stop paying child support no matter what. However, you could request a modification to make it easier on your finances. The judge might grant your request if you recently lost your job through no fault at your own.

What if you don’t request a modification first?

If you break a divorce order without requesting a modification, you could end up in serious legal trouble. It’s important to talk to an attorney before you do anything. You might have to fill out legal documents, pay a fee and attend a court hearing. In some cases, the judge could make their decision without an in-person hearing.