Skip to Content
Litigation. Collaborative Law. Mediation.
Modification & Enforcement Proceedings Our attorneys at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP have substantial experience assisting clients in the modification of child custody, support, and spousal maintenance orders, as well as the enforcement of court orders.

New York City Order Modification 
& Enforcement Lawyers

The New York City family law attorneys at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP have substantial experience assisting clients in the modification of child custody, support, and spousal maintenance orders, as well as the enforcement of court orders when a parent or former spouse is not meeting his or her custody or support obligations. Based in midtown Manhattan, we serve clients throughout the New York City area, in addition to Rockland, Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk counties.

What is Modification?

A modification refers to a change made to a previous family court order or agreement regarding issues such as child custody, child support, spousal support, visitation rights, or other matters related to family relationships. Modifications are typically sought when there has been a significant change in circumstances that renders the existing order or agreement impractical or unfair.

In New York, common types of family court orders that can be modified include:

  • Child Custody: Changes in custody arrangements may be sought if there has been a substantial change in circumstances, such as a parent's relocation, change in work schedule, or concerns about the child's safety or well-being.
  • Child Support: Modifications to child support orders may be requested if there has been a significant change in either parent's financial situation, such as a change in income, job loss, or increase in expenses related to the child's needs.
  • Visitation/Parenting Time: Modifications to visitation or parenting time schedules may be sought if there has been a change in circumstances affecting the child's best interests, such as a parent's relocation or concerns about the child's safety during visitation.
  • Spousal Support/Alimony: Changes to spousal support or alimony orders may be requested if there has been a substantial change in either spouse's financial circumstances, such as a change in income, retirement, or remarriage.
  • Orders of Protection: Modifications to orders of protection may be sought if there has been a change in circumstances that warrants altering the terms of the order, such as new incidents of domestic violence or changes in the parties' living situations.

When Is the Modification of an Order Warranted?

A party to a custody, child support, or spousal maintenance order may file a petition to request a modification to an existing order if either party has experienced a material change in circumstances. When the proposed modification involves child custody or visitation, it must also be in the best interest of the child.

Examples of materially changed circumstances include:

  • A former spouse’s remarriage or cohabitation with another person
  • A former spouse gains new employment or a promotion
  • One parent decides to move out of state or far from the other parent
  • A child’s changing needs, including cases in which a child develops special needs
  • A party’s deteriorating physical or mental condition, such as by drug or alcohol abuse
  • One parent’s interference with a child’s relationship with the other parent
  • A party’s conviction of a crime

At Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP, we are committed to achieving our clients’ goals, and have helped many clients successfully modify custody, visitation, support, and spousal maintenance arrangements.

How to Modify a Family Court Order in New York

Modifying a family court order in New York involves a legal process that generally follows these steps:

  1. Assessing the Need for Modification: The first step is to determine whether there has been a substantial change in circumstances that warrants modifying the existing court order. This could include changes in income, employment status, living arrangements, health, or other significant factors relevant to the original order.
  2. Consulting with an Attorney: It's advisable to seek guidance from a qualified family law attorney in New York who can assess your situation and advise you on the likelihood of success in seeking a modification. An attorney can also help you understand the legal requirements and procedures involved.
  3. Filing a Petition: To initiate the modification process, the party seeking the change typically files a petition with the family court that issued the original order. The petition should clearly state the reasons for seeking modification and provide any supporting evidence or documentation.
  4. Service of Process: After the petition is filed, it must be properly served on the other party to ensure they have notice of the proceeding. Depending on the circumstances, service may be accomplished through personal delivery, certified mail, or other approved methods.
  5. Response and/or Negotiation: The other party has the opportunity to respond to the petition, either agreeing to the proposed modification or contesting it. In some cases, parties may engage in negotiation or mediation to attempt to reach a mutually acceptable agreement regarding the proposed modifications.
  6. Court Hearing: If the parties are unable to reach an agreement, or if the court determines that a hearing is necessary, a hearing will be scheduled before a judge. During the hearing, both parties will have the opportunity to present evidence and arguments supporting their positions regarding the proposed modification.
  7. Court Decision: After considering the evidence and arguments presented, the judge will make a decision regarding whether to grant or deny the requested modification. The judge's decision will be based on the best interests of the child or other relevant legal standards, depending on the nature of the modification being sought.
  8. Issuance of Modified Order: If the modification is granted, the court will issue a modified order reflecting the changes to the original court order. This modified order will be legally binding on both parties, and they will be required to comply with its terms.

Can Hiring a Matrimonial Law Attorney Make a Difference in My Case?

When you have unresolved disagreements with a party that end with the issuance of a court order, it does not magically make the conflict disappear. Family law matters revolve around issues fraught with high emotion. That puts court orders intended to manage strained personal relationships at substantially high risk for being violated by one or both parties. Additionally, there may come a time when an order will no longer effectively address a changing situation.

It is in your best interest to retain a knowledgeable family law attorney who can remain focused on the important issues and craft a strategy that will give you the best chance of attaining your goal.

Continue Reading Read Less

What Sets Us Apart From The Rest?

Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein is here to help you get the results you need with a team you can trust.


    We are one of the only Manhattan divorce law firms offering all three options for divorce: litigation/negotiation, collaborative law, and mediation - providing custom strategies and solutions for our clients.


    All families and marriages are unique - our attorneys take the time to listen to our clients to fully understand the circumstances of their case. Only then do we advise the best legal option for their goals.


    Divorce is a time of transition. We understand the emotional and financial stress that clients experience during the divorce process – from day one our team ensures that we provide our clients with prompt feedback so that they are updated on their case every step of the way.


    Our attorneys provide frequent expert legal commentary for national media outlets and have been quoted in numerous publications including Fox's Business, NBC News, ABC News, CBS News and many more.

Contact a NY Family Law Attorney with Experience in Modifications & Enforcement

If you live in the New York area and need assistance modifying or enforcing a custody, child support, or spousal maintenance order, please contact Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP or call (212) 466-6015 to schedule an appointment with an experienced NYC family law attorney. Proudly serving Manhattan, Westchester, and Bergen County, New Jersey.

Ready to Discuss Your Options?

  • 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