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Most marriage dissolutions involve stressful negotiations and tiresome proceedings. However, even after your divorce is over, you could still face legal challenges. Whether it be enforcing a child support order when your ex is not paying, modifying alimony because you lost your job, or resolving property issues, post-divorce litigation can be just as stressful.
In New Jersey, there are several ways to address matters that arise after you have dissolved your marriage. A Livingston post-divorce disputes lawyer could explain your available options and provide recommendations for your case.
No matter how comprehensive a marital settlement agreement is, problems could still arise after the divorce. These disputes may result from new developments in circumstances, or because one party is not complying with the terms of the settlement. There are several areas where post-divorce disputes are common.
When it comes to children, circumstances often change after a divorce. For instance, one parent may want to relocate out of state, making it difficult to uphold the court-ordered custody schedule. Alternatively, a parent could disobey the visitation schedule by regularly failing to pick-up or return the children on time. These situations could require a modification of the custody and visitation schedule.
New Jersey courts can award several different types of alimony, and some of those may be changeable after the spouses’ divorce based on new circumstances. If the alimony recipient remarries or cohabitates with a romantic partner, the party paying spousal support could request a decrease or termination of their obligation. If the paying party retires, loses their job, or has a significant decrease in income, they could also seek an alimony reduction.
In a divorce, the court may divide marital debts equitably between the spouses. However, if either spouse refuses to pay their share, the other person could face legal action from creditors and damage to their credit.
In this situation, a skilled post-marital disputes attorney could advise a party on modifying the divorce terms, enforcing the divorce decree, or asking a court to hold the non-compliant party in contempt.
There are several legal options available to resolve disputes after a marriage dissolution. Different strategies may be appropriate in different scenarios, so it is best to consult a seasoned local attorney when trying to navigate post-divorce conflicts.
Either spouse can request that a court modify the existing divorce decree. In Livingston, before a court can grant a modification petition, the party seeking the adjustment must show a substantial change in circumstances since the divorce. A modification proceeding may involve child custody, child support, and in some cases, alimony.
If a party willfully disobeys an order, a judge could find them in contempt of court. Under New Jersey Statutes Annotated 2A:10-1, a court could impose several penalties against a contemptuous party, including:
If a person’s ex-spouse is violating their divorce decree, a nearby post-marital disputes lawyer could file a contempt petition against them and request sanctions.
Similar to contempt of court, the purpose of an enforcement action is to compel the other party to comply with the terms of the divorce. If a court grants a motion to enforce, it could order the non-compliant party to take specific actions, such as transferring an asset, paying off a debt, or cooperating with the sale of a family home.
Another way former spouses could resolve post-divorce disputes is through mediation. In New Jersey, mediation can either be court-ordered or the parties may voluntarily participate. In mediation, former spouses could communicate about their post-divorce issues and address changes to their divorce decree.
Dealing with your former partner after the divorce is over can be frustrating. However, there are several ways to address post-divorce disputes, and with the right legal support, you could effectively resolve your case and move forward with your life.
If you are involved in a conflict with your ex-spouse, consult with a Livingston post-divorce disputes lawyer. One of the experienced attorneys at our firm could advise you on the best steps to take for your circumstances.