A Comprehensive Guide to Post-Judgment Modifications in New Jersey

Changes Are a Part of Life, and Sometimes These Changes Require Modifications to Original Divorce Agreements Regarding Alimony, Child Support, Custody, or Parenting Time.

A Comprehensive Guide to Post-Judgment Modifications in Passaic County, NJCircumstances for a divorced couple and their family can change after the divorce is over. Whether those life changes occur a year, five years, or more later, a post-judgment motion is an application filed by one or both former spouses (and, less frequently, a child) requesting that the court modify part(s) of the final divorce agreement. When a change in circumstances of either spouse calls for a change in alimony, child support, child custody, or parenting time, this post-judgment modification is requested.

Common Family Law Issues That Prompt Post-Judgment Modifications in New Jersey

Alimony – There are several kinds of spousal support in New Jersey divorce cases, and many of them are temporary and will require modifications. For example, alimony is sometimes limited to the period in which the receiving spouse can secure an income that allows them to be financially self-sufficient. Reimbursement alimony provides temporary compensation to the payee for supporting their former spouse in finishing advanced university studies or getting a medical or law license during the marriage. Rehabilitative alimony is meant to help the payee while they participate in the education and training necessary to support themselves. These types of alimony rely on changing circumstances, and although there may be a general date set for them to end, once the terms have been met, a motion for modification can be filed.

Child Custody/Parenting Time – While child custody and parenting time agreements are usually meant to be long-term, changes in circumstances can sometimes occur. For example, if a tween or adolescent wants to spend more time with one parent because they are closer to friends or extra-curricular activities, and the parents agree, changes can be requested. Also, divorced parents often remarry and may move further away than is convenient for short visits. Divorced couples can make changes independently if their relationship is amiable, but it is always best to make the changes officially through family court. There is no guarantee the court will allow them as they will only consider what is in the child’s best interests.

Child Support – The New Jersey Child Support Guidelines outline considerations the court uses to determine the amount of support necessary. There is a schedule based on the parents’ income and the amount spent on the child regarding food, housing, transportation, entertainment, and out-of-pocket healthcare costs. The guidelines are based on important principles such as children should not endure poverty because of divorce, are entitled to both parent’s income, and have the same economic opportunities as those of intact families.

Post-Judgment Modifications after Life’s Twists and Turns

The circumstances that impact a need for a post-judgment modification usually involve an economic change. Job loss, underemployment, illness, retirement, a disability that impacts earning potential, or significant changes in the cost of living may require an increase in child support or alimony to the payee or a decrease in payment of the payor depending on whose income has been changed. Other factors include receiving a windfall such as an inheritance, a major increase in revenue, changes in the tax laws, or the remarriage (cohabitation) of the recipient spouse. The relocation of one parent can provoke a filing for modification, as can allegations of abuse or neglect of the child and substance abuse, both of which could result in the child residing with one parent and no visitation time given to the other parent until the allegations are processed. The emancipation of a child, a discovery that the child has special needs or talents, or when a child goes to university can also motivate a modification.

Post-Judgment Modification Approval by the Family Superior Court of New Jersey

The Family Superior Court of New Jersey regulates the approval of post-judgment modifications for alimony, child support, child custody, and parenting time (visitation).

Strategic Evidence Gathering for Post-Judgment Modifications in New Jersey

Depending on the kind of post-judgment modification you seek, you can use several documents and pieces of evidence. For financially related requests, bank statements, paycheck stubs, bills, and receipts are helpful evidence. Suppose you’re interested in changing parenting times. In that case, your original visitation plan and a journal of where you have tracked all visits, missed visits, or late arrivals are good choices, along with text messages and emails.

Child-Centered Decisions when Granting Post-Judgment Modifications

New Jersey Family Court must make decisions regarding child custody and parenting time based on a list of 14 standards that reflect the child’s best interests. The standards that are most analyzed when deciding on the approval of post-judgment modifications are the needs of the child, their safety, the fitness of the parents, the quality of the education the child receives, the child’s preferences (when old enough to opine responsibly), and the stability of the home environment.

Learn about the Typical Duration of a NJ Post-Judgment Modification Process

A motion for a post-judgment modification must be filed 24 days before the court date. The other side must be served with the motion 24 days before the hearing, and they must submit their reply 15 days before the court date. Their last reply must be sent eight days before the hearing. Whether the judge’s decision is made on the day of the hearing depends wholly on the circumstances of the request and the proof provided therein. Although judges prefer to resolve issues as simply as possible for the sake of time and docket space, there is no hard and fast rule that the decision must be made immediately.

Explore All about Post-Judgment Modifications with the Guidance of our Family Lawyers in NJEnhancing Legal Strategy with a Family Law Attorney for Post-Judgment Modifications in New Jersey

At The Montanari Law Group, our family law attorneys are familiar with the timeline and requirements to appropriately file a motion for a post-judgment modification. We have the knowledge to interpret evidence, statutes, and rulings directly impacting your case. We can construct your motion using the appropriate language to communicate best what you are asking for and why. Conversely, the same skills can be used to your advantage if you are answering a motion.

We have access to specialists and expert witnesses whose testimony can help your cases, such as doctors, educators, therapists, forensic accountants, financial analysts, and more. Our family lawyers are excellent litigators and negotiators, increasing the possibility of your success versus trying to do it alone. We can provide you with experienced representation as we handle the intricate process of filing or contesting a motion to the court in West Orange, Wayne, Hackensack, Montvale, Jersey City, Paterson, and towns throughout Passaic County and Northern New Jersey. We will negotiate or litigate on your behalf, seeking the most favorable outcome for you and your family. Our personalized approach puts you at an advantage because we understand the unique circumstances of your case.

Some of the keys to our success are the passion we have for helping our clients achieve the best possible outcome, a broad and current knowledge of family law, and seasoned attorneys whose interests lie in helping you achieve your goal. We recognize how stressful and difficult dealing with a former spouse can be and want to put our expertise to work for you.

For an initial consultation free of charge, call our Little Falls office today at (973) 233-4396 or toll-free at (888) 877-7985 to discuss your situation. You can also contact us online.


To speak with one of our highly knowledgeable attorneys, contact us today at (973)-233-4396 or toll-free at (888)-877-7985. You can also complete the form below to begin your conversation. We are a personalized, boutique-style law firm that offers free initial consultations and flexible appointment options.