There are two post divorce actions that often require legal assistance: (1) modification of the settlement; or (2) enforcement of the settlement.
Generally modifications are sought when there has been a change in circumstances that makes the original agreement unworkable. Life changes are inevitable; children’s needs change, financial circumstances radically shift, health issues intervene, jobs are lost, and people move. The original divorce agreement needs to change to reflect the new reality. Whether a modification will be allowed depends on many factors including the language in your original settlement agreement. Generally, the courts look to whether there has been a “substantial change in circumstances” to justify the change.
Sometimes your ex spouse does not do what he is supposed to do pursuant to the original divorce or dissolution agreement and an enforcement action becomes necessary. For example, your ex-husband might not be paying spousal or child support, or he may be disregarding the original parenting plan. A motion for enforcement asks the court to “force” the other party to follow the judgment terms. The court has many remedies to force your spouse to comply with the original order such as wage garnishing, forfeiture of property or even (in extreme cases) incarceration. A court can award payment of our attorney fees if your ex-husband intentionally has violated the original court order.
At Newton Law Firm we can help you with the following:
- Review original settlement agreement to determine possibility of modification;
- Gather evidence necessary to prepare motion for modification;
- Explain the law and what is required to get the changes sought;
- Defend a motion for modification;