In a majority of cases, once a divorce has been finalized, the stress is over, and both spouses can move on with their new lives. However, in some cases, the divorce drama does not end with the divorce decree, and spouses may find themselves in the courtroom yet again.
When your past comes knocking, count on the divorce attorneys at Curran Moher Weis to help you tackle any issues you face. We’re here for you.
The need for litigation in divorce (or post-divorce) cases typically arises from the inability of spouses to agree on their own without legal intervention.
After a divorce is finalized, ex-spouses may find themselves needing to change something previously decided on, like child support. If spouses can make decisions together, they can submit these changes to the court for approval. When agreeing is impossible, litigation may become necessary.
Additionally, if an ex-spouse needs to enforce a prior agreement or order, they will likely need to take it to the courtroom.
Typically, post-divorce litigation is required for cases needing modifications or enforcement.
At times an ex-spouse will need to change a prior divorce decree concerning issues of custody or support. In order for a modification to be granted, the party seeking to modify the decree must prove a substantial change in circumstances. These changes may include a change in income, a desire to relocate, or problems concerning the well-being of the minor children.
A divorce decree is enforceable through the court. When a party disregards the terms of a divorce decree, which is a court order, a motion for civil contempt can be filed, and the ex-spouse can be found in contempt of court and fined – or even jailed.
Modifications refer to changes made to already-existing divorce agreements or decrees that reflect new circumstances or needs.
If there is a change in circumstance after a divorce, either spouse can petition the court for an alimony modification to address the desire to either increase, decrease or stop alimony payments.
A child custody modification can be filed when a child’s needs have changed or parents have experienced a change in circumstances.
For a judge to grant a child custody modification, parents need to prove a material change in circumstance and that the modification would suit the child’s best interests.
When there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the entry of the final judgment, a parent may need to file for a child support modification. These changes are typically financial, like loss of job or loss of income.
If a spouse or parent is not complying with an agreement or court order, a party may need to take legal action to enforce the same.
If a co-parent refuses to comply with the terms of the child custody, for example, by not visiting their child, a motion for enforcement can be filed. The petitioning parent is essentially asking the court to enforce the agreement and order the parent to comply.
If the party has a child support order and the order has not been complied with, a party can file a motion with the court to have the ex-spouse found in contempt. Being found in contempt of court can have consequences for the parent.
Additionally, the court may take action to ensure child support is paid by, for example, wage garnishment.
Curran Moher Weis has extensive experience helping Virginia and nearby clients with their post-divorce litigation. We understand going through a divorce is hard enough as it is, and having to revisit certain matters can make it worse. Our firm protects your best interests and tries to ensure this is the last time you’ll have to deal with your past. Contact our firm today to schedule a meeting with one of our skilled Fairfax divorce lawyers today.