Myrtle Beach Divorce Lawyers – Modification of Court Orders
What happens when you the court orders periodic alimony payments based on your income at the time of the final hearing, but you lose your job a month later?
You apply for comparable jobs, you do the best that you can, but you are now stuck in a new occupation that pays half what you were making before?
Some things that are ordered by the family court cannot be changed, but there are also some orders that can be modified if the statutory requirements are met…
What Types of Court Orders can be Modified in SC?
After the time limits have passed for post-trial motions and appeal, SC law allows for some court orders to be modified only under certain circumstances. Your SC divorce attorney at Axelrod and Associates can help you to get a modification of a court order if you meet the requirements below.
Post-Trial Motions and Appeals of a Family Court Order
A “final order” can be modified by the judge who issued it if they grant a Rule 59(e) motion to alter or amend the judgment or a Rule 60 motion for relief from judgment after your trial.
If the family court made an error of law, we can appeal the court’s order and, if the appellate courts agree with us, change the final order.
But, post-trial motions and appeals have deadlines. What happens when those deadlines have passed, and you still want the judgment changed?
What Cannot be Modified?
With very few exceptions, the following cannot be modified after the time for post-trial motions and appeal has passed:
- The court’s decision to grant a divorce;
- The specific grounds on which the court granted the divorce;
- Division of marital property and debts; and
- The court’s decisions not to award alimony.
Other types of orders can be modified, but only if certain conditions are met.
What can be Modified?
Child custody and visitation can be modified if you are able to demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances.
SC law also provides for certain circumstances when alimony payments can be modified. For example:
- Permanent, periodic alimony can be terminated or modified if there are “changed circumstances;
- Lump sum alimony cannot be terminated or modified based on remarriage or changed circumstances, but it can be terminated if the supported spouse dies;
- Rehabilitative alimony can be modified “based upon unforeseen events frustrating the good faith efforts of the supported spouse to become self-supporting or the ability of the supporting spouse to pay the rehabilitative alimony;” and
- Reimbursement alimony can be modified or terminated based on remarriage or continued cohabitation of the supported spouse or the death of either spouse, but it cannot be terminated or modified based on changed circumstances.
Whether your court order can be modified depends on what we are asking the court to change and whether the circumstances support the change based on the statutory requirements and SC caselaw.
Your Myrtle Beach divorce lawyer at Axelrod and Associates will help you to determine whether your court order can be modified and what evidence you will need to persuade the court that the modification is necessary.