Neither marriage nor divorce seems to have a forever shelf life. Returns to court by one party (or both parties), for failure to uphold an agreement is quite commonplace, as too are filings for changes to the agreement, a term, in legal jargon, known as modifications.
While it is obvious why individuals return to court for enforcement of agreements, it is less apparent why modifications are sought.
The most frequently cited reasons for modifications are:
Changes to custody and/or visitation
Removal of a child from the state (request for permission to relocate)
Request for increase/decrease in support
Payment for college tuition
Justification for any modification needs to be based on a material change of circumstances. It is the individual seeking a change or changes who faces the task of proving that there has indeed been a material change of circumstances since the granting of the “parties” divorce.
At the Centre for Mediation and Dispute Resolution(CMDR), our clients typically have clauses in their agreements requiring mediation as the first line of recourse in the event of either party’s failure to uphold the Agreement or to request a change in the document. Moreover, CMDR clients also use mediation as a vehicle for resolving differences between them due to occurrences that may have little or no relationship to a party’s default or to a material change of circumstances. The ex-spouses simply disagree or an issue has arisen which they prefer to discuss in a neutral environment, an environment in which they feel safe.
Mediation provides an atmosphere conducive to the settlement of post divorce conflicts and issues, an atmosphere that does not throw ex-spouses into antagonistic postures where the reliving of their divorce reemerges.
Please Call Our Office For Answers To Your Questions – 781.239.1600