Legal modifications are required when the original settlement agreement or court order is no longer offering the parties appropriate relief or when there has been a substantial change in circumstances involving the parties or the minor children. It may involve a change in expenses associated with the children or with the viability of current custodial arrangement. These are usually challenges which were not otherwise anticipated by the parties. Thus, it is imperative that a client receive legal advice before agreeing, in writing or otherwise, to change the terms of a settlement agreement or a final judgment. Failing to seek legal advice may prejudice that party’s rights in the future. Thus, Ms. McCarthy is dedicated to providing sound legal analysis and making solid recommendations to prevent her clients from unknowingly adversely affecting their substantive rights. Call now before making any changes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1.      Are certain aspects of a divorce judgment which are not modifiable?

Generally speaking, prior property division awards and lump sum alimony awards are not subject to modifications.

2.      What does a spouse have to prove to be granted a modification?

Usually, a party must show a sufficient change of circumstance involving the financial standing of the parties,  or the visitation or custody provisions for the children.

3.      Can a verbal agreement between the parties result in a legally recognized modification?

Generally, most well drafted settlement agreements require that any modification be in writing to be recognizable. The parties are free to subsequently contract with each other as to issues involved in a final decree or settlement agreement; however, it is imperative that the parties consult with an attorney prior to making any written modifications which could affect their rights.