Family Law Case Updater

By: David M. Siegel

Change in Circumstances

The uncontroverted evidence was such that the child support order should have been reduced or modified to reflect respondent's financial resources which at best could have been described as limited. In order to justify a decrease in child support payments, the moving party is required to show a significant material change in the circumstances and conditions of the divorced parents since the entry of the original divorce decree. In order to justify a decrease in child support payments, the moving party is required to show a significant material change in the circumstances and conditions of the divorced parents since the entry of the original divorce decree. The issue before the trial court on a motion to modify child support payments was whether the circumstances of the parties and the children had materially changed since the divorce decree, and only if that were so would a modification of the child support be proper. In all cases where petitions to modify payments under a divorce decree are involved, the primary question is whether or not changes in circumstances of the parties justify the modification.

In an application for modification or termination of support, the only inquiry should be whether sufficient cause has intervened since the entry of the decree to authorize the court to change the allowance.

Child Support

Child support provisions in a dissolution agreement adopted by the trial court are void, in excess of the court's jurisdiction, if the trial court could not order those provisions in the absence of the agreement.

Life Insurance

In a divorce case, where there was no reason to believe that the husband, or his estate, would not be able to provide the mandated child support, the trial court's decision not to require the husband to maintain a life insurance policy naming his children as the irrevocable beneficiaries was not against the manifest weight of the evidence.

Consent Decrees

The statutory power of a court to reduce the amount of periodic payments, whether by way of alimony or child support, is not defeated by the fixing of the amount of the payments in a settlement agreement which was incorporated in the decree.

Continuing Jurisdiction

Regardless of the presence ort absence of any language limiting modification of contract terms, provisions relating to the support of minor children are always modifiable. A court is concerned with the adequacy of a child support award when made; the wife can always petition for an increase in the future.

Contract

While defendant was under no legal obligation to leave his estate or any part of it to the children and his obligation to do so was created by contract and only by the contract, the contract could not be altered without his consent and the court was without authority to modify it or to enter a decree contrary to it.

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