Post Judgment Modifications

In New Mexico final judgments are final. There are some exceptions, such as moving to act on a judgment within 30 days after entry of the judgment or moving to set it aside under Rule 1-60 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. However, in family law there are more ways to modify a post judgment decree simply because of the nature of the law.

Generally, property distributions are not subject to post judgment modifications. However, in New Mexico, custody, time sharing, child support and some spousal support awards can be modified post judgment. For purposes of modifying custody and time sharing one must file a motion to tell the court that there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances.

There is no precise definition of what this means, therefore, the court is left to decide based on the totality of the circumstances of the case. Common reasons in which custody and time sharing orders are modified are based on the age of the children, one of the parents moving or having a significant change in their work schedule.

Additionally, other problem areas can also give rise to a material and substantial change. Things like alcohol or domestic violence may also constitute material and substantial change in circumstances warranting a modification of child custody or time sharing. Similarly in the area of spousal support and child support the court will look at whether there is a material and substantial change in circumstances that impacts on the best interests of the children.

Again, when it comes to the financial aspects of post judgment modification the court will look at the entire case to ascertain whether this burden has been met. Some things that constitute a material change that impacts on support are things such as increase/decrease income, a child reaching the age of majority or an increase/decrease in monthly expenses like private school or daycare. These are just to name a few. It’s important to ascertain whether the circumstances you are facing amounts to a substantial and material change that could warrant a modification.

Contact the experts at the Justice Legal Group to find out how your circumstances impact on custody, time sharing, child support or spousal support. You can reach us throughout New Mexico at 505-880-8737 or email us at

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