When Can You Obtain A Post-Judgment Modification?
No matter how well-thought-out your divorce, child custody, child support or maintenance agreement was, life has a way of intervening and forcing a change. The majority of items in your final settlement may be modified at a later time, presuming you have a genuine reason for the change.
Our attorneys at Thelen & Associates, LLC can assist with all of these changes. Some couples may try and make a deal on their own, but that can cause serious problems, should the other party change their mind and decide not to follow the deal. By working with our lawyers, you can ensure that you have an enforceable modification and will not be surprised by a court order that can seriously disrupt your life.
Substantial Change In Circumstance
In order to obtain the modification of a financial support, you would need to show that there has been a substantial change in circumstance. This generally means a significant increase or decrease in the income of the party making the payments. Courts are reticent to modify an order absent a very strong evidentiary showing of the change. An initial review may occur at 33 months regardless of a finding of substantial change.
What Evidence Is Necessary
If your divorce teaches anything, it will be that you should have well-organized financial records. In requesting such a modification, you would need to show with pay stubs and tax filings the level of change from when the initial order was entered.
If you have lost a job or had your hours cut, in addition to the financial records, you will need to demonstrate that the change was beyond your control. Courts are suspicious of sudden or unexplained drops in income by anyone obligated to pay support.
Changes In Custody Or Placement
Dealing with a child custody and placement plan also teaches the only constant in life is change. A placement schedule that was ideal when a child was young may be more difficult to work with when a child is older and has numerous after school activities. Similarly, parents may experience changes to their job or work schedules that will demand a modification. As with child support, obtaining a formal court order modifying your agreement is the best way to ensure you have a valid modification.
Enforcement Of Orders
There may be times when a party fails to do something, like make child support payments, or refuses to abide by the terms of the placement (visitation) that will require you to return to Wisconsin court and request the judge enforce an order. Our lawyers understand that such actions can make your life very difficult, but it is important to work with the court to resolve the situation.
Obtaining an enforcement order allows powerful tools such as contempt, garnishment or in extreme cases, jail time, to force compliance. It also creates a record should you need to modify a custody order due to the other party’s failure to cooperate and follow the orders of the court.
Contact Our Firm
An attorney from our Waukesha office can help you with maintenance, child support and custody modification, answer your questions and help with the process. Call 262-955-8241 or use our online form to request an appointment.