How do I get child support/alimony modified?

Courts use a case called Lepis v. Lepis, and the factors contained in (called Lepis factors) in order to determine a modification in child support or alimony. Here are those factors:

In accordance with this general principle, courts have recognized “changed circumstances” that warrant modification in a variety of settings. Some of them include

(1) an increase in the cost of living.
(2) increase or decrease in the supporting spouse’s income.
(3) illness, disability or infirmity arising after the original judgment.
(4) the dependent spouse’s loss of a house or apartment.
(5) the dependent spouse’s cohabitation with another.
(6) subsequent employment by the dependent spouse.
(7) changes in federal income tax law.

Courts have consistently rejected requests for modification based on circumstances which are only temporary or which are expected but have not yet occurred. In other words, temporary unemployment isn’t going to get you a modification.

The most annoying part of these standards is that courts do not apply them uniformly. There is a lot of variation at the edges where one judge might grant you a different result than the other. In these cases, although most of the motions are filed without an attorney, a consultation with an attorney might be the best way to increase your chances for success on a motion of this sort.

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