After a legal decision has been obtained, there are generally obligations that the parties have to one another. These include making payments, transferring property, providing and exercising access schedules with the children, participating in programs, and behaving (or refraining from behaving) in a particular way.
However, because a person’s circumstances will inevitably change in the future, agreements that were once considered fair can become difficult to uphold. Often, the parties in agreement (or an order of the court) think they should no longer be bound to it, or feel rudderless navigating post-judgment. At these junctures, attorneys may engage to steer their clients back to the provision of an agreement or an order, in order to enforce or modify them. Modifications, upward or downward, are often sought in child support cases.
As in all other areas of domestic relations, the most pacific way to resolve these issues is through discussion, understanding, negotiation and, often, compromise. But this is not always possible, particularly after a judgment has been rendered. One side is generally asking for more (or less) of what had previously been agreed upon or ordered. One side, or both, may need guidance once again.
In these scenarios, sensitivity and creativity are paramount to reach our clients’ goals. Value, for instance, may need to be created in order to compensate for value which is no longer obtainable. Simultaneously, one’s attorney must have full command of the nuances of the law, procedural fluency, and the skill to guide a complex argument toward an effective resolution.