Clear Proof Of Changed Circumstances Is Needed To Win Motion To Modify Support Obligation
- July 30, 2013
- No comments
The NJ Appellate Court recently found the Defendant had made a prima facie showing of changed circumstances that would allow him to proceed with his motion for a modification of his support obligations. In DeRosa v. DeRosa, the Defendant owned his own business for installing sprinkler systems for homeowners and provided proofs that the business had experienced a substantial decline in sales revenue from 2006, to 2010, 2011, and 2012. Under the seminal case of Lepis v. Lepis, the court set forth the standard that a prima facie showing of changed circumstances is required to modify support. In DeRosa, the Trial Court denied Defendant’s Motion without the benefit of a hearing wherein the Defendant would be permitted to provide evidence and testimony regarding changes circumstances. The Appellate Court remanded the matter to the Trial Court to follow the procedures set forth in Lepis. These cases are determined on a case by case basis which leads to non-uniformity in the court’s decisions on cases which may seem similar in nature. The party seeking the modification bears the burden of establishing the prima facie showing of a genuine change of circumstances that is not a mere temporary change but substantial and long-term in nature. It may be due to loss of job by either spouse, decreased income to either spouse, increased income to either spouse, disability of either spouse, increase in cost of living, or the dependent spouse’s cohabitation with a paramour. Once it has been established that a substantial change of circumstances exists, the Court will order discovery of all financial documentation and a hearing will take place. If you want to seek a modification of support, are owed support, want to establish or terminate support or if you have been served papers regarding a support issue then you should consult with an experienced family law attorney to protect your rights. For more information about support, child custody, divorce, dissolution or other family law matters in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney regarding your specific matter.