POST-DIVORCE ISSUES/ MODIFICATION
There are many issues that may arise after a final divorce decree has been issued, ranging from one party not complying with the decree in some way to modification of the final decree. There is a common misperception that once a divorce is final, there is no way to enforce the final decree, or that there is not an opportunity to change any part of the Divorce Decree.
If you believe that your former spouse is not complying with the decree, then there are options available to you, including filing a petition for contempt and for enforcement with the court, based upon your former spouse's refusal or failure to comply with the terms of the final decree. Call our attorneys here at Boynton Waldron to discuss your options.
It is possible to change or modify an existing Decree - when modification is appropriate and what you have to prove to the court to succeed in a request for modification will depend upon which part of your order you want to modify. If you believe that a modification of your decree is warranted, please contact our attorneys here at Boynton Waldron.
Modification of Child Support
Generally, if there has been a substantial change in circumstances or if three (3) years have passed since the date of the most recent child support order, then either party has the right to request that the court change the child support order by filing a petition to modify the most recent child support order. Prior to filing a petition, you will want to be informed of how potential changes in the law or in your particular financial situation that may have occurred since the date of the most recent child support order may affect the child support amount. You will want to speak with our attorneys here at Boynton Waldron to ensure that the result you intend by requesting the modification is the one you can likely expect.
Modification of Child Custody/Visitation or Parenting Plan
A court order regarding child custody or parental rights and responsibilities may be modified in New Hampshire so long as one of the following circumstances (set forth in RSA 461-A:11) exist, which are: "(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.(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." If you believe that the existing court order should be changed, then call for an initial consultation here at Boynton Waldron, to discuss the options available to you.
Modification of Alimony
Alimony or spousal support may be modified after the final divorce order, even in situations where the parties have expressly waived their right to seek modification of alimony. The court has the authority to modify alimony orders upon a showing of necessity due to changed circumstances. To determine whether your circumstances warrant a modification of alimony (even if alimony was not included in the original divorce order or if you agreed to waive alimony modification), please contact our experienced attorneys at Boynton Waldron.