Divorce is a complicated process that is often fraught with emotions and challenges, and one most people want to get through as quickly – and as unscathed – as possible. For many couples who separate and/ or divorce, once their case has progressed through the court system and the final divorce decree has been issued, they believe that all is said and done, all decisions are final, and nothing will change. However, after a divorce settlement agreement is reached and made official by a court in a final divorce decree, it can be modified as circumstances change. This is known as a Post-Decree Modification, or Post-Decree Motion. These motions are filed when a legally separated or divorced couple takes part in post-decree litigation, which means the parties involved are in disagreement about issues after the final divorce decree has been issued and are headed back to court to resolve these issues.
Quite often these disputes are precipitated because one of the parties involved determines that the other party has violated a court order relating to the divorce. An example would be when the party responsible for paying court-ordered child support or spousal support fails to do so. Another valid reason for seeking a post-decree modification involves challenging the financial settlement based upon a failure to disclose debts or assets or concealing information that should have been produced. The parties may attempt to work out their differences on their own but if that fails, the injured party may have to file legal paperwork usually known as a contempt action requesting that the court enforce the original order.
What Issues are Handled with a Post-Decree Motion?
Child support, custody, and visitation arrangements are commonly the subject of a post-decree motion. This can be due to a number of factors including a physical move to a new location, a new marriage for one or both of the parents, a significant change in financial status, living conditions, financial need of the child, and above all, the best interest of the child or children involved. If the agreed upon parenting plan is not working and needs to be modified, parental responsibilities, parenting time/visitation, schooling, health care, and other issues can be subject to change. Attempts to alienate or isolate a child or children from one parent by another is also just cause for a post-decree modification request.
Alimony, also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance, may also be subject to change due to a change in employment, involuntary loss of job, change in living conditions, remarriage, substance abuse, arrests, or incarceration, a deteriorating mental or physical condition, or other factors. A judge will closely examine the details of the case and determine if anyone is attempting to avoid paying court-ordered alimony or if the requested changes are legitimate and worthy of consideration.
The objective of a post-decree modification is to revise an existing final divorce decree so that it accurately reflects the lives and needs of those it represents, both adults and children. However, circumstances and conditions change all the time, and your original divorce decree may need modification because it does not accurately represent your current situation. Depending on the circumstances of your divorce case, you may have a variety of post-decree options. If your circumstances have changed since your final divorce decree was issued and you would like guidance and help in filing a post-decree modification in Denver, the legal offices of Divorce Matters are open and ready to assist you. Reach out to us today and let us help you achieve an arrangement that meets your current needs.