A post-decree action is litigation that occurs after the initial divorce or custody court orders are issued.
Common post-decree issues include modification of child support, modification or termination of spousal support, modification of a shared parenting plan, or reallocation of custody and parental rights and obligations. Other forms of post-decree actions include contempt actions to correct a situation in which a party fails to fulfill their court ordered obligations.
Modification of a Divorce Decree
A divorce decree and/or a separation agreement can only be modified if the court retains jurisdiction to modify certain terms. Spousal support (“alimony”) is often an issue that the court retains jurisdiction over to modify the duration and/or the amount of spousal support. In certain circumstances, the court retains jurisdiction over the issue of division of retirement accounts or real estate. For situations in which the court retains jurisdiction over issues in the divorce, a post-decree motion to modify those terms can be filed. Under certain circumstances, a party can file a motion to vacate the divorce decree. These actions are complicated and often require a very sophisticated approach to the issues in order to successfully modify the terms of the divorce decree or separation agreement. If you feel that it is important or necessary to modify your decree, contact Trolinger Law Offices, LLC to guide you through this process.
How long do you have to amend a divorce decree?
If the court retains jurisdiction over certain issues within the divorce decree or separation agreement, then a party can seek a modification at any point in time during which the court has retained jurisdiction. For instance, if the court orders a party to pay spousal support for ten (10) years, then either party can move the court to modify those terms so long as the court has retained jurisdiction over the amount or duration of spousal support.
Changes in Circumstances that Warrant a Post-Decree Modification
In order to file a motion to modify the terms of the divorce decree or separation agreement, a party often must prove that the circumstances of the parties have changed. A change in circumstances could be that a party is earning more or less money, has become disabled, has retired, children have emancipated, or other circumstances in the parties’ lives have changed.
Documentation of Non-Compliance
If your spouse or coparent is actively violating your decree/court orders, it is important that you document each incidence in which there is noncompliance with the court orders. Documentation and record keeping are key to prevailing in a court action to recoup monies owed or to right a wrong. Keep records of communication between you and your former spouse or coparent regarding request for payment, parenting time, or otherwise. Even if you believe that your requests will go unanswered, it is important to continue to request the other person’s compliance as this will be important in showing the court your efforts and cooperation in attempting to obtain the other party’s compliance.
If you are in need of assistance in enforcing a divorce decree, or if you are being held in contempt for an alleged violation, you should have an experienced attorney representing you in court. Contact Trolinger Law Offices, LLC to protect your rights.
If you have a legal matter relating to your family or business, you can count on the legal team at Trolinger Law Offices, LLC to tailor a winning strategy to fit your circumstances and protect your interests. Contact us today to request a consultation.
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