After A Divorce is Finalized
That’s was really tough. So much time! So much emotion! But you did it! You really did it! You finished the issues with your spouse. Now you are truly free – FINALLY! You have a spouse no more – only an Ex. Yes – you are free!
Not exactly. Just because you finished your divorce or family court case, does not mean you are really done. Unfortunately, it is common place for one ex-spouse (or even both) to fail to live up to their obligations and responsibilities. Did the house get sold? Were the assets actually distributed? Are you getting your spousal support (alimony)? Are they abiding by the visitation schedule? Are they honoring the co-parenting terms? Is the child support being paid?
Enforcing and Changing Your Divorce Settlement
If not, then you must return to the Court to enforce the Order that requires your ex-spouse to do something that they are failing to do. This is done with an enforcement/contempt proceeding. When done properly, this is a very powerful tool. At times this maneuver can potentially punish your ex-spouse for their behavior by revoking their driver’s license, paying back your attorney fees and even sending them off to jail. Hopefully, this strategy will get your ex-spouse in line and you won’t have to go back to Court ever again.
In addition, sometimes what you thought would be okay turns out to be a disaster. For instance, you might have thought it best that you and your ex-spouse share joint, legal custody of your children. But now that you are divorced, you see that this is beyond an impossible arrangement – you and your’ ex-spouse can’t agree on anything – every minute point becomes an intolerable argument. Thus, you need to return to Court to modify the situation so that you can have sole legal custody of your children. And return to Court you must, as if you decide to just merely stop allowing your ex-spouse to act in a joint custody capacity, then you could get into trouble for not abiding by the existing Order. A modification proceeding is required to make the change.