Details Are Critical In Property Settlement Agreements
- February 10, 2013
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It is well established law that a substantial change of circumstance is required to warrant a modification of support. Aronson v. Aronson Being specific and detailed you are when drafting Property Settlement or Matrimonial Settlement Agreement between two parties is beneficial beyond words. The parties should include all the assets and liabilities accrued during the marriage even if it seems tedious, i.e. last four digits of account numbers, dollar amounts, etc. In addition, a paragraph describing the “standard of living” enjoyed during the marriage by the spouses and children should be included. As evidenced by the recent New Jersey Appellate Division case, Heard v. Dunbar, details as to how the parties’ incomes were established and the support obligations were calculated is imperative. In Heard, the Defendant requested a modification to his child support, college contribution and life insurance obligations. Although there was a Property Settlement Agreement, the parties were not specific as to how their incomes or the support obligation was calculated. In addition, the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage was not defined either. The Heard Court made it clear that a change to either parties’ income, increase or decrease, should be taken into account when considering a modification request. Unfortunately, the omission in the parties’ Agreement as to what the payments were based on made the Court incapable to make decisions regarding the modification of support without further discovery and/or a plenary hearing. If you are seeking or fighting a post-judgment modification, you should consult an experienced family law attorney immediately in order to protect your rights. For more information on child support, custody, parenting time/visitation, adoption, dissolution of a civil union, marriage or domestic partnership, modifications, alimony, palimony 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.