Post-Judgment Modifications Require Due Diligence By Judges In NJ
- August 23, 2013
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Motions for post-judgment modification require a judge to make findings of fact similar to those made in the underlying cause of action. When submitting motions for post-judgment modification, the substance and amount of proof of a litigant’s position makes the difference in whether a motion will be considered by the court and also what the court’s finding will be. In a recent case, Olt v. Olt, a defendant was able to prove changed circumstances as is required for the court to consider his motion for modification of child support. However, the defendant was dissatisfied with the result obtained when the judge granted his motion. Defendant worked within the home health care industry and could not find similar employment. The judge made no findings of fact related to the defendant’s documentation regarding other employment the defendant may have attempted to obtain and imputed income based on what the judge seemed to believe was defendant’s voluntary unemployment. Additionally, the judge considered work related child care costs to the plaintiff in making the decision regarding the child support amount. The cost of $9,000 was utilized by the court for plaintiff’s work related child care cost amount in the calculations but no findings of fact were made by the judge as to the reason for the $9,000 figure. Much as the litigants are required to submit adequate proof, the judge is required to make adequate findings of fact. In this case, where the reasoning behind the decision of the judge as to certain facts was not sufficiently established by the record, the NJ Appellate Division granted the Defendant’s appeal and remanded the decision to the NJ Superior Court for the judge to reconsider the findings. If you are contemplating a motion for post-judgment modification or defending against a motion for modification, you should seek experienced legal counsel to make sure you obtain the relief you are entitled to. For more information on divorce, dissolution, child support, alimony or other family law matters in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of an attorney.