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Divorce Order Modification & Enforcement

NJ Divorce Order Modification and Enforcement Attorneys

Ensuring your divorce keeps working for you

Time doesn’t stop after a divorce. You get to move on with your life—which means that your circumstances may change to the extent that your divorce order no longer functions in the way it was intended to.

At Jacobs Berger, LLC, our attorneys have decades of combined experience in helping our clients modify and enforce divorce orders.

We work with you to maintain the stability of your family life—including with your children and finances—while also building the foundation for a prosperous and healthy future.

If you’re concerned about the enforcement or modification of any aspect of your divorce settlement agreement, contact our firm today to discuss your unique situation and needs in a confidential case assessment.

Modifying and Enforcing NJ Divorce Orders

Life can take surprising turns, and even divorce agreements that once seemed like a reasonable fit may need to be adjusted over time.

Divorce settlements are based on your life situation at the time of divorce—but they can’t predict every possibility the future holds. Either party may experience significant changes that create the need for a divorce order modification.

Likewise, there are times when one party doesn’t abide by the terms of the divorce decree—even though they’ve signed a legal document saying they’ll do so. In these situations, you can pursue enforcement with the help of a lawyer.

The knowledgeable divorce modification attorneys at Jacobs Berger, LLC have years of experience in working with clients to successfully modify or enforce their divorce agreements.

Types of post-divorce order modifications

A divorce order may need to be modified for any number of reasons, but financial changes and issues around parenting time are the most common reasons for seeking a modification.

You may wish to seek a modification if your divorce settlement no longer fits with your needs when it comes to:

  • Child custody, including instances of joint legal and physical custody
  • Parenting plans, including visitation and time spent with the child
  • Alimony, also known as spousal support
  • Child support, which may need to be modified on its own or in conjunction with child custody changes

At Jacobs Berger, our family law attorneys regularly provide legal support for clients on all these issues. We can work with you to find a path forward.

The Process for Divorce Order Modifications in NJ

In New Jersey, there are two methods for modifying a divorce order.
First, you can obtain consent for your modification request from your former spouse. You and your divorce order modification attorney must first put the exact modifications you’re requesting into writing, have that document signed by your former spouse, and then submit it to the court for execution and filing.

The second method applies only if your former spouse won’t consent to your modification request. In this instance, you can file a motion with the courts to modify your divorce order. When doing so, the most important factor will be that of “changed circumstance(s).”

“Changed circumstances” is a legal term for changes that are not temporary in nature and are unforeseeable at the time of your divorce.

Some of the most commonly cited changed circumstances when petitioning for a divorce order modification are:

  • Loss of employment
  • Either party gaining employment, a promotion, or a raise
  • The remarriage or cohabitation of a party
  • A parent or child suffering from an illness or disability after the initial divorce agreement
  • Loss of a home
  • A change to the cost of living
  • Termination or modification of alimony
  • Emancipation of a child
  • College matriculation of a child

At Jacobs Berger, LLC, our divorce order modification attorneys can help you demonstrate to the courts that circumstances have changed and why those changes call for a modification of the divorce order.

When divorce agreements can be modified

Divorce agreements can be modified when your former spouse agrees with and signs your written divorce order modification request—and the court executes and files the Agreement/Consent Order.

Divorce orders can also be modified in response to major life changes that were unforeseeable at the time of divorce. For instance, financial changes such as the gain or loss of employment and life changes such as an illness may result in the need to modify the original divorce order.

In these instances, your divorce order modification attorney can work with you to get the court to approve your modification request.

At Jacobs Berger, we have extensive experience in helping our clients achieve alimony (spousal maintenance), child support, and child custody and visitation modifications.

The Process for Divorce Order and Contempt Order Enforcement in NJ

Compliance with an agreed-upon or court-ordered divorce judgment can become a source of contention.

Frequently, one party relies upon financial support such as child support or spousal support to meet their financial obligations. When that support isn’t paid, it can cause serious difficulties to the dependent party.

Additionally, contentious relationships can result in obstructions of an existing child custody and visitation agreement.

When this happens, the aggrieved party and their attorney can file an application for enforcement of the specific divorce order with the courts. Depending on the matter at hand, courts and governmental institutions have a broad range of authority and discretion to ensure the divorce order is complied with.

Post-Decree Modification and Enforcement FAQs

It’s almost always much easier to secure a fair divorce settlement during the process itself than after the dust has settled.

However, if your divorce order was affected by legal issues such as an improper ruling, malpractice, or other irregularities, then you and your divorce order modification attorney can pursue a divorce appeal.

Modifying a divorce decree can be done either with specific, written consent from your former spouse or through court. However, in both instances, there are situations where attempts to modify a decree aren’t likely to be successful

If you’re seeking to modify a divorce decree with consent from your former spouse, you’ll need to get them to sign your specific request.

If you’re attempting to modify a divorce order without the consent of your former spouse, the court will ask you to show that you or your former spouse have experienced a significant life or financial change, known as “changed circumstances.”

If there haven’t been any significant changes since your divorce agreement was signed, then it’s unlikely that the court will rule for a modification in your favor.

While both parties are supposed to abide by the divorce order, divorce decree violations do occur.

If your co-parent is violating your visitation and child custody agreement or isn’t paying child support on time, in full, or at all, you have options to pursue enforcement of your divorce order.

With the help of a divorce order modification attorney, you can file an application for enforcement. New Jersey courts expect divorce orders to be followed and have a number of options for enforcing the terms.

Work with Trusted Morris County Family Law Attorneys

At Jacobs Berger, LLC, our divorce order modification attorneys work to provide constructive and effective legal solutions that meet each client’s individual needs and situation.

We understand that financial stability is important to you and your children, and we’re prepared to help you modify or enforce your divorce order to reflect this importance.

By listening closely to your concerns and keeping you informed and involved throughout the legal process, we’re confident we can work together to achieve the results your family needs.

If you need a divorce order modification or enforcement, contact us today to schedule a strategic planning session—and ensure your divorce agreement supports your family’s plans for the future.