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Whenever a final judgment has been entered by a court on some or all family law issues, provisions of that judgment cannot be changed without proof that the circumstances that existed at the time the judgment was entered have changed in some material way. The most common modifiable provisions involve child custody, child support, and spousal support.
Our office specializes in post judgment order changes, and can help you navigate how to best approach your appeal.
Occasionally, the conditions that should be met before a modification can occur are set forth in the judgment itself. However, more often, the burden is on the party seeking the change to prove it is warranted. The proof required must be more than simply, “I changed my mind”; usually, a material change must be shown, and only then would a court consider what modification to make. The plan for this two-step process must be carefully assembled prior to reopening negotiations or court filings.
Too often, people try to negotiate modifications themselves, without the help of an experienced family law attorney. What can result is inadvertently showing your hand before it’s the right time. Even worse, parties sometimes give up rights that may be hard to take back, or which the other side has relied on, thereby gaining leverage without giving in return.
If you have questions about whether your case may be right for a change from the current orders, the Law Offices of Stephen L. Cawelti can talk with you about your case. We’ll look at your case history and current orders and provide an honest evaluation of the facts and circumstances of your matter. Once you know the pros and cons of your potential claims, you’ll be able to make the right decisions about moving forward.