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Modification of Final Judgments Attorney in Ridgeland, MS
Our Mississippi Family Lawyers Can Help You With Post-Judgment Modifications
Life is constantly changing, and an issue that was previously resolved may need revisiting. This is also true of family law matters, such as those involving child custody, child support, or alimony. If you are wondering about whether you may obtain a modification of a final judgment, it is important to consult a skilled lawyer who can explore the details of your case.
At Hancock Law Firm, our Mississippi family lawyers have extensive experience advising clients on post-judgment modifications, including custody modifications, visitation modifications, alimony modifications, and child support modifications. If you need legal advice, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Ridgeland law office to set up a confidential initial consultation.
Know the Law: Modification Requires a Material Change in Circumstances
Mississippi allows for post-judgment modifications in family law cases to account for the possibility that life could bring material changes that render the previous agreement/order unfair or inapplicable. You cannot seek a modification simply because you do not like the outcome of the original case. A modification is not the same thing as appealing a decision. A Mississippi court will only grant a modification of a final judgment if the petitioner can prove that there was a substantial change in circumstances that justifies a revised arrangement.
Seeking a Family Law Modification? You Have the Burden of Proof
In post-judgment modification cases, the burden of proof falls on the party petitioning for a modification. That is to say that the person who wants a change must provide evidence demonstrating that such a modification is justified based on a material change in circumstances.
As an example, imagine that a child support order was entered against you. If your financial circumstances changed dramatically—such as due to the loss of a job—you may be entitled to a modification allowing for a reduction in child support based on the material change in income.
Seeking a Modification of a Final Judgment in a Child Custody Case in Mississippi
A court order issued in a family law matter remains in effect unless and until another order modifies it. As a result, deliberately disobeying a court order or a final judgment is considered contempt of court. In Mississippi, a modification of a family law order will typically only be granted if the person seeking the modification can prove that a “material change in circumstances adversely affecting the minor child” has occurred since the last judgment or order was entered. A judgment will only be modified if the change is substantial. This means that new facts have arisen that render the court’s previous judgment impossible, unfair, or impractical to maintain.
When seeking a custody order modification, for example, a substantial change in circumstances may include:
- Relocation of a custodial parent;
- Substance abuse issues involving either parent;
- A child developing serious emotional, academic, or health issues;
- Allegations of child abuse against either parent; and
- The inability of either parent to carry out their parental duties.
Modification of Child Support in Mississippi
In child support cases, a substantial change in circumstances may include increased needs for the child or a substantial change in income for either parent. In the context of child support, Mississippi requires a change of at least 15 percent in the obligation to pay child support before a modification will be considered. However, if one of the parties is considered low-income, the substantial change threshold is set lower at a 7.5 percent change.
Spousal Support (Alimony) May Also be Modified
Separate maintenance, also known as alimony, may also sometimes be modified. Modifying alimony orders may be complex because some types of alimony are modifiable, while other types are not. Thus, the ability to modify an existing alimony order depends on the type of alimony that was initially awarded
Substantial changes in circumstances that may justify the modification of an alimony order include:
- Substantial increase in the income of either party;
- The cohabitation of the recipient spouse with someone else;
- Unexpected disability through injury or illness of either spouse
In general, the change must be something that could not have been anticipated at the time of the divorce.
How the Family Lawyers at Hancock Law Firm Can Help Protect Your Interests
Getting a family law modification can be complicated—even if you have good cause to do so. If you are seeking to modify a final judgment, it is important to have an experienced family law attorney on your side. At Hancock Law Firm, we understand that modifications are often necessary to keep up with the changes taking place in your life. Our Ridgeland family lawyers are prepared to:
- Review your case during a comprehensive initial consultation;
- Explain your eligibility for a family law modification;
- Gather documents, financial records, and any other relevant information; and
- Take immediate action to protect your rights and get you the best outcome.
Ultimately, family law modifications are granted on a case-by-case basis. As every situation is different, it is crucial that you get personalized guidance and advice from a top-rated Madison County, MS family lawyer. With more than 50 years of combined experience and a long record of successful results, you can count on the legal team at Hancock Law Firm for support.
Call Our Ridgeland, MS Modification of Final Judgment Attorneys Today
At Hancock Law Firm, our Mississippi family lawyers have the professional skills and legal knowledge to represent clients in the full range of post-judgment modification cases. If you want to know more about your rights or your options, we are more than happy to provide guidance. Our firm will try to make the process as smooth as possible for you. Contact us now for a confidential case consultation. With an office in Ridgeland, we provide family & divorce services throughout Madison County, including in Madison, Canton, Flora, Gluckstadt, and Kearney Park.
To set up an appointment with a divorce attorney, you can reach us at (601) 853-2223!
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