Court Order Modifications

Winning Cases Since 2009

  • American Institute of Family Law Attorney's 10 best
  • BBB
  • Super Lawyers
  • Lawyers Of distinction
  • suffolk-county-bar

    Long Island Modification Lawyers

    Court Order Modifications in Suffolk & Nassau Counties 

    As your divorce draws near its end, the court will need to begin establishing legal regulations for you and your ex to follow in the years to come. Known as court orders, the rules outlined on these documentations and agreements can feel like they are set in stone, and may control a wide variety aspects pertinent to your day-to-day lives.

    Court orders will typically control the following after a divorce:

    The importance of making court orders fair becomes clear when you consider just how much they can really affect. If they are not drafted properly, you could be left at a financial or emotional disadvantage, and you may need to file for a court order modification to set things right and re-balance the scales of your divorce.

    Our Long Island modification lawyers can help you. Call (631) 880-6440 or contact us online today. Serving clients in Melville, Manhattan, and Southampton

    How to Modify a Court Order in New York

    A court order is not something that the judge will create on a whim. Weeks or months may transpire as a divorce progresses and the judge reviews your case. Due to the thought and care that should be put into making the court order in the first place, a solid, logical argument must be presented if you wish to have an order modified.

    The legal process to modify an existing court order may include several important steps:

    1. Basis for modification
    2. Consult with an attorney
    3. Informal resolution
    4. Gather supporting evidence
    5. Filing a petition
    6. Serving the other party
    7. Attending court hearings
    8. Obtain modified court order


    1. Understanding the Basis for Modification

    Review the existing court order carefully to identify the specific provisions you wish to modify. Determine if there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the order was issued that justifies a modification.

    Reasons you may cite while requesting a court order modification include:

    • Criminal arrest
    • Debilitating illness
    • Ex-spouse gets a significant pay raise
    • Ex-spouse remarries
    • Must move to keep employment
    • Serious injury
    • Unexpected job loss or wage cut

    For example, you might be ordered to pay alimony to your ex every month equal to 25% of your wages. At the time of the divorce, you are able to maintain a comfortable lifestyle even while providing spousal support. If you are demoted at work, that original 25% may now be equivalent to 75% of your paycheck instead. You could file for a court order modification to lower the alimony you are expected to pay, possibly down to what would be 25% of your new income.

    2. Consult with an Modification Attorney

    An experienced Long Island modification lawyer can provide guidance based on your specific case and help you understand the legal requirements to assist you throughout the modification process in New York.

    3. Attempt Informal Resolution

    Before you file a formal modification request, you should consider discussing the proposed changes with the other involved party. If you both agree on a modification to the existing court order, you may be able to draft a written agreement (stipulation) and submit it to the court for approval.

    4. Gather Supporting Evidence

    However, if the informal resolution approach is not possible, supporting evidence will need to be gathered so you can request modification. Forms of supporting evidence may include:

    • Financial documents
    • Medical records
    • Employment records
    • Any other relevant evidence that substantiates the change in circumstances

    5. Filing a Petition for Modification

    You will need to file a petition with the court that issued the original order in order to officially request a modification. The petition you file should outline the specific changes you are seeking and provide a clear explanation of why those changes are necessary. This is where your supporting evidence will come in handy and need to be included.

    6. Serving the Other Party

    After filing the petition, you must serve a copy of the petition and any supporting documents to the other party involved in the case. Serving the other party a modification petition can be a crucial step in seeking a change to a prior agreement or order regarding child custody, child support, or spousal support. The other party must be properly served in order for the petition to be considered valid. This may involve personal service or alternative methods such as certified mail.

    7. Attend Court Hearings

    The court will schedule a hearing to review your petition for modification. During the hearing, both parties will have an opportunity to present their arguments and evidence. The judge will evaluate the proposed modifications and make a decision based on the best interests of the child or the applicable legal standards.

    8. Obtaining a Modified Court Order in NY

    If the court grants your request for modification, it will issue a new court order reflecting the approved changes. Make sure to obtain a certified copy of the modified order for your records.

    When Can a Court Order Be Modified in New York?

    The most common court order modifications pertain to child custody, child support, alimony (spousal support), and visitation rights. If any case involved domestic violence, a modification to the court order should be sought immediately.

    Spousal Maintenance Modifications

    Alimony orders may need modification if there is a large change in life circumstances which may include:

    • Loss of a job / wage cut
    • Significant increase in income
    • Serious injury or illness
    • Remarriage of ex-spouse

    Child Custody & Visitation Modifications

    Additionally, child custody and visitation orders may be modified to seek the best interest of the child in the situation when circumstances have changed drastically, including:

    • A parent relocates
    • A parent is deemed unfit to care for their child
    • A parent is battling substance abuse issues
    • A parent has serious medical conditions
    • A parent has history of domestic violence

    Contact our Long Island modification lawyers today at (631) 880-6440 for a free consultation!

    • “Everyone was so helpful and made a stressful experience easier” - A.A.
    • “Professional and 100% Successful with the outcome” - Jennifer E.
    • “I have the highest regard for Al and Steve” - Lisa M.

    Contact Our Firm

    Let us be your confidant when you have no one else to turn to. Call our offices today at 631-880-6440 to schedule a free consultation with a divorce attorney in Long Island. We offer same-day consultations.

    • Please enter your first name.
    • Please enter your last name.
    • Please enter your phone number.
      This isn't a valid phone number.
    • Please enter your email address.
      This isn't a valid email address.
    • Please make a selection.
    • Please enter a message.
    • By submitting, you agree to be contacted about your request & other information using automated technology. Message frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Acceptable Use Policy