Recently, I was retained by two different clients with similar issues. I was hired to defend them against claims for upward modification of support.
In one case the petitioner sought upward modification of child support based on her allegation that my client earned “vastly” more money than he did at the time the parties entered into a settlement agreement at the end of their divorce in 2006.
In the other case, the petitioner sought upward modification of child support and spousal support. The parties have a special needs child with significant physical and mental disabilities. One year earlier, the parties entered into a consent order where my client had consented to the payment of child support and voluntarily agreed to pay a significant sum of spousal support. At the time of the petition, the child’s physical and mental condition were the same as they were at the time of the consent order.
I sought dismissal of the complaint for the same reasons on both cases and the Court granted my motions and dismissed both of them.
When a petitioner seeks modification of an existing agreement or order, he or she must be able to demonstrate an unanticipated change of circumstances coupled with a need of the child that is not being met.