Your divorce is final; you’ve begun moving on with and rebuilding your life. To your chagrin, you come across some aspect of the newfound divorce settlement – financial, custodial, contractual, or what have you – that is not what you expected or is otherwise unsatisfactory. The conclusion of a divorce is not always the end of your legal entanglements with your ex-spouse. New issues can arise over time that was not immediately evident at the time you signed off on the divorce settlement. The divorce decree is not etched in stone. It can and often will be altered in some way after the divorce.
A significant life change usually prompts some type of post-divorce modification. A post-divorce modification may not necessarily be the result of a dispute, rather there may be a change of circumstances that requires you to adjust some aspect of your divorce settlement. Perhaps a new job forces you to change the official time-sharing schedule with your spouse. Perhaps your financial situation has worsened, interfering with your ability to pay your portion of a shared debt. On the other hand, perhaps your financial situation changed for the better, potentially altering any settled upon alimony agreements. Whatever the reason for a post-divorce modification, the attorneys at Tenn And Tenn, P.A. can review your situation and help you request the modification(s) accordingly.
Common Causes of Post-Divorce Modifications
- Job loss
- Marriage to a new spouse
- Financial hardship
- Issues related to children
To enact a post-divorce modification, the process is usually simple and amicable, provided your former spouse does not contest the modification, which could complicate the situation. Your New Hampshire divorce attorney will guide you through forms you must file and the general process you may encounter as you set about making a post-divorce modification. If the modification is warranted and your lawyer can prove it to the court, you may be granted the modification you seek.
Child Support Modification in New Hampshire
A substantial change in yours or your former spouse’s financial situation may prompt a child support modification. Alternatively, if three years have passed since the last child support order was issued, either party has the right to request a modification. Your attorney will keep you abreast on whether any changes in the law occurred during that three-year span that would affect the new child support order in some way.
Alimony Modification in New Hampshire
Under some circumstances, spousal support can be modified even when either party waived the right to modify alimony. When the necessity for change presents itself, the court may adjust spousal support if they find the change is truly warranted. If alimony was not a feature of the original divorce decree, there is a chance it could be added to the divorce decree by post-divorce modification. To better understand this process and the potential outcome of your unique case, contact New Hampshire divorce attorneys at Tenn And Tenn, P.A.
Child Custody Modifications in New Hampshire
You can proceed with a child custody modification in the state under one or more of the following circumstances, specified in RSA 461-A:11:
(a) The parties agree to a modification;
(b) If the court finds repeated, intentional, and unwarranted interference by a parent with the residential responsibilities of the other parent, the court may order a change in the parental rights and responsibilities without the necessity of showing harm to the child, if the court determines that such change would be in accordance with the best interests of the child;
(c) If the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the child’s present environment is detrimental to the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health, and the advantage to the child of modifying the order outweighs the harm likely to be caused by a change in environment; or
(d) If the parties have substantially equal periods of residential responsibility for the child and either each asserts or the court finds that the original allocation of parental rights and responsibilities is not working, the court may order a change in allocation of parental rights and responsibilities based on a finding that the change is in the best interests of the child.
New Hampshire Post-Divorce Disputes
When a post-divorce conflict arises that needs to be addressed, it is usually referred to as a post-divorce dispute. It is possible to resolve these disputes with the aid of a skilled New Hampshire family law attorney. Why do post-divorce disputes arise? Disputes may result from your former spouse failing to fulfill the obligations outlined in the divorce settlement. These could be custodial, contractual, or financial failings or general conflicts of interest.
For example, if you and your spouse had a joint credit card during your marriage, you may have an equal share in the debt resulting from it. You are making your end of the monthly payments, but your former spouse is not. This may require the intervention of a judge or warrant a modification of the divorce settlement. Another example could involve a situation where you and your former spouse moved to separate towns and but prior to the move, you both consented to a pre-arranged custody agreement. One spouse, however, fails to adhere to the arrangement; this spouse perhaps was supposed to drive the kids to your house on weekends but makes up excuse after excuse why she or he cannot. This is another example of a dispute that would probably require some type of legal intervention.
If you do have a post-divorce dispute that is not civil in nature, you are all the more urged to retain a New Hampshire divorce attorney who can help you address and resolve these conflicts. If your former spouse is not complying with the divorce decree, you can file a petition for contempt and enforcement with the court, explaining the nature of the refusal to comply. If the dispute is a lack of payment, the dispute can be addressed by garnishing wages. The court may attempt to resolve custodial and visitation disputes by adding various stipulations to the custody agreement to encourage compliance.
New Hampshire Divorce Modification Attorney
Whether you are seeking an amicable modification of your divorce decree, or urgently trying to resolve a heated dispute with your former spouse, a New Hampshire divorce attorney is critical in helping you execute your goals. If you are interested in pursuing a modification by filing a petition to address a dispute, contact the legal team at Tenn And Tenn, P.A.