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Enforcing or Modifying Family Law Judgments

Child Custody ● Child Support ● Alimony ● Parent Relocation

If circumstances change, or your ex-spouse or partner is not living up to court-ordered obligations, the law firm of Margaret E. Padovano can represent your interests. Based in West Orange, New Jersey, Ms. Padovano has extensive experience in evaluating post-judgment issues to determine the likelihood of success where modification is sought. Where enforcement is needed, Ms. Padovano has results in cases involving, for example:

  • Interference with parenting
  • Failure to pay child support
  • Failure to pay spousal support
  • Failure to comply with the terms of a property settlement agreement or judgment by refusing to liquidate or distribute assets, or where assets have been hidden or dissipated
  • Modification of the terms of final judgments because of change circumstances.

Modifications

The court requires a substantial change in financial circumstances to modify child support or alimony. In matters related to child custody and parenting plans, there needs to be a compelling reason to alter existing arrangements. Ms. Padovano and her staff possess the expertise and resources to represent your interests in a variety of post-judgment modifications such as:

  • Modifying child support because of a change in either parent’s income
  • Decreasing or terminating alimony because of remarriage or co-habitation
  • Seeking sole custody because of danger to the child such as drug use, criminal activity, child abuse
  • Transferring custody when an older child wishes to movie in with the non-custodial parent
  • Emancipation of children when appropriate

Parent Relocation

A frequent modification request involves a parent moving from the state. Under New Jersey law, the parent of primary residence can generally move anywhere within the state without court approval. In most cases, the courts are also liberal in allowing the primary parent to relocate out-of-state with children, although when the proposed move is contested, a hearing is required to determine whether or not the child’s interests would be served by the proposed relocation.

If you are the parent of alternate residence, you may choose to file a formal objection and litigate to prevent the move. Though the court may approve the relocation, judges are sympathetic to the parent left behind. If you have been actively involved in the child’s life, the court may, at a minimum, require accommodations which take your sacrifice into consideration and which enhance your access to the child or children, giving you greater access on holidays and summer vacations, requiring, for example, the primary parent to pay travel expenses for visitation, and/or reducing your child support.

The importance of a sound and comprehensive agreement from the beginning

A significant percentage of modification and/or enforcement litigation could have been avoided by skillful and thorough drafting of the Property Settlement Agreement, with attention to detail and to the long-term consequences. Attorney Margaret E. Padovano drafts comprehensive and enforceable agreements. In addition, she handles all types of modification and enforcement issues. Contact her West Orange office at (93) 731-8405 for any issue related to enforcement and modification of final orders after a divorce.