In an action for divorce, spousal support, or child support (one or more of which can be combined in one action), the court may award certain property and/or support awards to the parties. While this is often the end of the story for the court’s involvement in a divorce or support matter, there are two main reasons causing parties to have to later return to court for further action:
- Enforcement of awards made by the court where one party has failed to follow through
- Modifications of child and/or spousal support awards either upwards or downwards based on the needs and economic circumstances of the parties.
At the Law Office of Kelley C. Finan, we work with parties in both enforcement and modification matters to make sure their needs are met and rights are protected.
Enforcement of Asset Division and Spousal/Child Support Awards
For example, let’s assume the family court has awarded you half of your ex-spouse’s savings and required him or her to pay $1,000 a month in spousal support as well as $800 a month in child support. If he or she fails to provide you with your half of the savings, or at any point fails to follow through in paying the child support or spousal support, you may go to court to enforce the award, even if the award was made by a court in a different state. We will fight for your interests in getting the funds you are owed.
Modification of Spousal and Child Support Awards
There are two common situations in which a court will allow for the modification of a spousal or child support award: 1) if the payor of the support has changed circumstances, i.e. an inability to make the same income as when the support order was made, and/or 2) the payee has a change in circumstances i.e. change in visitation or income.
The court may adjust the support award downward or upward based on these types of changed circumstances, but will require evidence demonstrating the changed circumstances. Both parties may appear before the judge before any modification is awarded. Because a modification can affect the financial status of all parties involved for years to come, it is important to be represented by experienced counsel in all modification actions.
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