Modifying Existing Family Law Agreements and Orders
Decisions ordered by a New Mexico judge in family law matters can be modified in many situations if the person requesting the change can justify the need for the modification. An experienced family law lawyer can review your situation, determine whether a modification is appropriate, and build a case to demonstrate to the judge why modification is warranted under the current circumstances.
At Batley Family Law, we know that the terms of a divorce decree, custody order, spousal support order or child support arrangement affect your life in a deep and meaningful way. Whether you want to seek a modification or desire to keep the terms as they are, we will work with you to obtain your objectives. Often, the change in circumstances that have led a party to seek modification is rooted in financial changes. Our Team has knowledge and experience related to an array of financial issues and will work with you to strategize how to best succeed in seeking modification
When Do Circumstances Justify a Modification?
Generally, before a court will consider modifying terms of a divorce decree, the person seeking the modification must demonstrate that a substantial change has occurred in the finances or needs of one of the parties involved. Some changes that could provide grounds for a modification include:
- A significant change in income
- Increases in a child’s expenses, such as for medical needs or education
- Receipt of an inheritance
- Increases in insurance expenses
- Remarriage or cohabitation of a person receiving support
Some circumstances may justify a modification of some terms but not others. For instance, cohabitation or remarriage can provide grounds to discontinue spousal support payments, but may not have any effect on child support obligations.
Matters That Generally Cannot Be Modified
Parents frequently ask the court to modify custody arrangements and financial support plans. Courts are willing to re-examine matters that affect children because the child’s best interests are always the most important factor and those interests can change over time.
Some matters, however, are rarely, if ever, modified by the courts. These issues include decisions involving allocation of debt and division of property. While ongoing spousal support obligations may be modified, a court is unlikely to modify lump-sum spousal support, even if it is paid in installments.
However, if a party can introduce evidence to show that these decisions were based on inaccurate or fraudulent information, it may be possible to have the terms modified.
Contact Batley Family Law for Assistance with Modifications
When handling a request for a modification, it is crucial to understand the factors that the courts find most persuasive and know how to present the best arguments to achieve your objectives. At Batley Family Law, our experienced lawyers know how to get results, whether through negotiation or litigation. Call our Albuquerque office today at (505) 246-0500 or fill out this contact form to take the next step toward scheduling your confidential case evaluation.
What Our Clients Say
“Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
I had a great experience at Batley Family Law. They assisted me with my case. They were excellent and ensured that my case was handled as efficiently as possible and always made me feel informed. This firm helped me through a stressful time. Would absolutely recommend this law firm.”
“Thanks for everything yesterday! I had a very informative and meaningful consultation with Batley Family Law. I can tell that they are compassionate and strong which I admire in a law firm. Their firm has written a great book on New Mexico Divorce Law and they had recommendations for books to help my kids in this process! Thanks for the great gifts as well. I look forward to working with them in the process that lies ahead.”
Bobbie Batley is unquestionably the top family lawyer in New Mexico, largely because of the amazing team she leads. This firm cares about their clients, and puts those needs out front. I will never hesitate to refer to this firm!”
“Batley Family Law is an excellent place to work. I enjoy coming in everyday. It is clear to see how much our attorneys value New Mexican families. They work their hardest to advocate for their clients on a daily basis.”
“Batley Family Law provided me with excellent advice and service to effectively and efficiently resolve an issue with my best interests in mind. They did this with a great deal of compassion. I would highly recommend this firm.”