West Caldwell Post-Divorce Disputes Lawyer
It might have taken months to settle your divorce, even if you and your former spouse agreed to all of the issues that existed between you. If you find that an agreement is not working as anticipated, you might be dreading reopening the divorce process. However, a West Caldwell post-divorce disputes lawyer can help.
It is not unusual for one party to request a modification of a divorce decree if their circumstances change. A knowledgeable divorce attorney will help you resolve an issue and modify your divorce agreement without needing to appear before a judge.
Modifying a Divorce Decree
Typically, any agreement that a judge incorporates into a divorce decree can be modified for good cause. Modification requests often pertain to custody, child support, and alimony.
Courts encourage former spouses to develop a modification that meets their needs. However, if spouses do not communicate productively, their attorneys may handle negotiations. If that process is also unsuccessful, a judge might encourage mediation or the use of an arbitrator to settle a dispute.
If a couple can come to a post-separation agreement, either alone or with the help of third parties, a lawyer in West Caldwell will incorporate it into a document called a Consent Agreement. Once a Consent Agreement is signed by the parties and filed with the court, a judge may accept it and override the previous order in a divorce decree.
Changes That Justify a Modification
Personal preference or inconvenience is not an adequate basis for requesting a modification of a divorce decree. However, courts recognize that certain aspects of life can change, and adjustments are often necessary and beneficial to all parties.
Changes that justify changing a divorce agreement include the following situations:
- Parent loses a job and needs an adjustment to alimony or child support
- Parent or child suffers severe health problems
- Parent wishes to relocate with the child, requiring a change in the parenting plan
- One or both parents believe the other parent should assume primary physical custody of a child
- Parent remarries or assumes responsibility for other children
- Parent begins earning more than they did when the marriage ended
Other circumstances may justify a former spouse seeking a change to an arrangement they made with the other spouse to settle a divorce. A skilled post-separation disagreement attorney in West Caldwell can review a case and recommend whether pursuing modification is warranted.
Resolving Post-Divorce Disputes in Court
A spouse’s wrongdoings often trigger a request for modification. For example, if a parent took parenting time with a child without the former partner’s knowledge or permission, a divorce decree may be modified. Similarly, if a spouse hid assets during a divorce, failed to pay child support, or uses it for their own benefit, a judge may justify the modification of an agreement.
In such cases, a legal representative might file a motion with the court to enforce the relevant agreement. The motion may seek penalties or sanctions against the offending spouse. For example, if a spouse fails to abide by a parenting plan, New Jersey Statutes Annotated § 2A:34-23.3 allows a judge to impose fines, order the parent to take parenting classes, participate in community service, and pay the former partner’s attorney’s fees.
The party filing the motion must prove that the other spouse failed to comply with an agreement. Motions to enforce are not justified when the failure to adhere to an agreement is minimal or non-substantive. A post-divorce issues attorney in West Caldwell can help former spouses come to an agreement in their separation agreements.
Trust a West Caldwell Attorney to Handle Your Post-Divorce Issues
If current circumstances require changes to your divorce agreement, you and your former spouse could modify the contract so it works better for your lives now. If you cannot agree, or if your former spouse is intentionally defying the agreement, you might have to take them to court.
In either case, a West Caldwell post-divorce disputes lawyer can offer legal guidance based on years of experience in these matters. Make an appointment today to speak with one of our skilled legal professional.