When a judge issues a final decree for your divorce, the divorce process is done and you can live as a single person again. You must, however, abide by all legal obligations to your ex-spouse and the court.
Keep in mind, however, that sometimes issues settled during divorce may need to be revisited. This means you and/or your spouse can file petitions to modify important decisions regarding alimony, child custody, child support, and other matters such as these.
Complying with the Terms of a Divorce Settlement
It’s very important to ensure you adhere to the terms laid out in your divorce decree. Failing to do so can lead to legal consequences such as a modification of those terms against your favor and even criminal charges for contempt of a court order.
Chances are your divorce involved settled issues such as these:
- Property Division: The equitable distribution of marital assets.
- Alimony: Post-divorce financial support for the spouse in the weaker financial position.
- Child Custody: The division of authority over a child’s life, including determining where the child lives most of the time.
- Visitation: Arrangements made for a non-custodial parent to spend time with their child.
- Child Support: Financial support for a child, paid to the custodial parent
Issues such as these are orders from the court that you must follow. Doing so without exception can help find the right solution for your family through a future post-judgment modification.
What Is a Post-Judgment Modification?
A post-judgment modification is a change made to any terms of your divorce settlement after its finalization. Post-judgment modifications commonly alter arrangements concerning alimony, child custody, and child support, but other issues previously resolved in a divorce can be revisited.
A petitioner must have a very good reason for a divorce post-judgment modification to succeed. This is usually represented by a substantial change in circumstances that make revisiting an issue necessary.
Examples of such changes in circumstances can include the following:
- Job loss
- Increased income
- Child’s development of a disability
- Criminal convictions
- Failure to abide by terms of the divorce decree
It’s important to note that you must always abide by the original terms of your divorce settlement until proceedings for a post-judgment modification conclude.
Enforcement of a Divorce Decree
If your ex-spouse fails to abide by the terms of your divorce decree, you can seek enforcement with assistance from an experienced divorce attorney. Pursuing enforcement means that a judge will hold a hearing to ascertain the reason for the non-performance of court-ordered obligations and, if warranted, issue enforcement actions.
These actions can include wage garnishment, fines, jail time, and modifications to existing court orders.
Common reasons to pursue enforcement actions include the following:
- Failure to pay child support
- Failure to abide by a parenting agreement
- Failure to pay alimony
- Failure to vacate a family home
- Failure to surrender assigned property
If your ex-spouse is engaging in a breach of your divorce decree, contact an attorney immediately. With legal action, you can hold your ex accountable and seek certain important remedies.
Beatriz Zyne, P.A. Can Help
It’s important to ensure your rights are protected during and after your divorce. If you need assistance with any legal matter concerning the enforcement of a divorce decree or allegations of a breach, our attorney at Beatriz Zyne, P.A. can help.
For more information about our services, contact us online and request a consultation.