Post-Divorce or Post-Paternity Modifications

A Material Change in Circumstances Since the Entry of the Earlier Judgment

A party may file a Complaint for Modification of the Divorce or Paternity Judgment if he or she has experienced a material change in circumstances. A material change lies in large measure within the discretion of the Probate and Family Court judge, however, an experienced Family Law attorney can help you to predict whether a Probate and Family Court judge will recognize your change as material for the purpose of a modification.

Depending on the language of your agreement, a modification may be granted if it is related to child support or child custody, alimony or health insurance. A modification of a division of assets cannot occur; in the event an asset is discovered after the divorce, a different procedure is used.

The following situations may warrant a Modification:

  • • Loss of a job or business resulting in a reduction of income;
  • • Loss of health insurance;
  • • Disability;
  • • Retirement;
  • • For pre 2012 Divorce Judgements, durational limits to Alimony being exceeded;
  • • Divorce Judgements entering after March 1, 2012, the payee cohabitating or the payor reaching full retirement age;
  • • A party’s earning a higher income since the judgment;
  • • A situation in which the custody or visitation arrangement is no longer in the best interests of the children;
  • • Plans to relocate with the children to a different state or out of the country.
  • To discuss whether your situation warrants filing a Complaint for Modification, call Patricia S. Fernandez, Family Law and a member of our legal team will explain your options and will help you to choose the strategy that is right for you

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