What Divorce Decisions Can Be Modified?
Usually post judgment modifications regard child custody, child visitation, and financial obligations such as alimony, child support, and college tuition payments. Many times Orders are entered and there is a need to change them because of different circumstances. A post judgment modification does not allow a party to get a “second bite of the apple.” Most issues determined at the time of divorce ― regardless of whether it is through an Agreement or by trial ― are non-modifiable. Therefore, you cannot discuss again the allocation of the house equity or who pays the VISA bills or what happens to the large screen television (with some minor exceptions such as within four months of the date of judgment or fraud).
Who Is Responsible for a Post Judgment Modification?
In a post judgment modification, the burden is on the person seeking the modification as to why the change should occur; the burden is not on the other party as to why things should remain the same. This may seem like a game of words but the burden is important in a courtroom. Usually, the court looks for what is considered a “substantial change in circumstances” to warrant a post judgment modification. It is within the court’s purview to determine whether the “substantial change of circumstances” has occurred.
If you are considering a post judgment modification, ask yourself “Can I identify a substantial change of circumstances?” If you are unsure if your situation is likely to qualify for a post judgment modification, contact me today. My name is Jim Katz and I have been practicing family law for over 30 years. Call my office at (860) 871-9449 for a free consultation.