Common Post-Divorce Legal Issues
A lot of people mistakenly believe that once they receive a final divorce decree, their legal issues (with their former spouse) will be over. The reality, however, is that for many individuals, divorce-related legal matters simply don’t end when a divorce is finalized. Instead, the parties may need to address post-divorce legal issues, like modifications and enforcement of court orders. Read on to learn more about how modifying and enforcing court orders can help protect your divorce-related legal rights and interests.
What are Post-Divorce Modifications?
Divorce decrees are final, which means that they are permanent and legally enforceable, so anyone who fails to abide by their terms can face legal consequences. This does not, however, mean that the parties aren’t allowed to try to change those orders at a later date. In fact, there is a specific process for doing so. It is possible, for example, for a parent to attempt to change a child support award, a custody schedule, or even an alimony agreement. However, before such a request will be granted, a petitioner will first need to prove that such a change is warranted by a significant change in his or her circumstance that has occurred since the order was issued.
Knowing what a court will consider a change in circumstances significant enough to justify a change in a divorce order is difficult. Many judges, however, have been willing to modify these orders due to:
- A change in income level or job status;
- The relocation of either party;
- The onset of a serious medical condition;
- A change in a child’s schedule or needs;
- Remarriage; or
- Concerns about abuse or addiction.
It’s also important to note that even if a petitioner is able to meet the substantial change in circumstances standard when attempting to modify a child custody order, a court will only approve the change if doing so is also in a child’s best interests.
What is Post-Divorce Enforcement?
Besides post-divorce modifications, couples who have recently gotten divorced should be aware of their rights to enforce a court order. These situations could arise when one party is refusing to comply with a court order related to child support, child custody, or alimony. To force that person to comply with the terms of the order, the wronged party can go through the court system, filing a motion for contempt, which in turn can result in the levying of fines and even a driver’s license suspension for the non-compliant party.
Here to Help with Your Post-Divorce Legal Issues
If you and your spouse were recently divorced and you have questions or concerns about modifying or enforcing a legal order, don’t hesitate to reach out to dedicated and experienced Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. for assistance. Contact us at 954-945-7591 or fill out one of our brief online contact forms to get in touch. Call or contact us online to get started on your modification or enforcement case today.