Can a Settlement Agreement be Modified in New York?
When spouses go through a divorce, they are required to reach decisions on many marital issues. Before the divorce is considered final, all decisions must be cleared by a judge. This is even true for mediation, as the judge reviews the couple’s arrangements and either approves or denies them. In all court cases, the decisions a judge comes to is considered to be the law. This means that once family arrangements are made in court, they must be followed and can be enforced by court order. However, New York State courts are aware that a family’s situation is subject to change. It is because of this that modifications can be made to a settlement agreement after it is finalized. This is done to accommodate significant changes in a spouse’s or child’s lives. Modifications can only be made if one or both of the former spouses can prove these changes.
When children are involved in divorce proceedings, the court will decide upon an amount for a parent to pay in support for them. Sometimes, a parent may request to modify the payment amount. This modification can either be an increase or a decrease in the amount of the payment. There are a few reasons in which a modification may be required. This may include situations such as:
- A change in custody arrangements
- Loss of employment
- An increase or decrease in income
- If a child requires money for medical treatments
Similar to child support, one spouse may owe the other spouse support through payments. This is also referred to as Alimony. The amount of money a spouse is required to pay another is typically determined by the court in order to avoid issues between the spouses. These payments can be modified if there is a significant change in one or both of the spouse’s circumstances. This can be a change in the spouse’s ability to meet the support payments or a spouse’s need to receive them. Modifications can be made to this in situations such as:
- Loss of employment
- A change in income
- An illness
- A spouse’s ability to become financially independent from the other spouse
Custody and Visitation Schedules
A child’s custody arrangement may also be modified, in addition to a parent’s visitation schedule. In order to do so, one or both of the parents must prove that there is a major and ongoing change in their life. In the event of this, the court will listen to both sides that are for and against the modification and come to a conclusion that is in the child’s best interest. Reasons for modification may include:
- If one parent relocates
- Any medical problems with the child or a parent
- A change in a parent’s employment
- Parent alienation
- A negative change in the child’s school performance
Contact our Firm
If you or someone you know is looking to modify a family arrangement, contact the Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC. today.
The Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC is an experienced divorce and family law firm located in New City, NY. It is essential to retain effective legal guidance during such pivotal times in life. Contact our firm today to discuss your legal matter and get the quality legal representation you deserve.