You may have thought that your divorce decree was final and the ordeal was behind you. But life does not always work out that way. Things happen and sometimes court orders need to be enforced or modified. When that happens, you want the best legal advice and guidance you can get to put things back on track.
What Are Post-Decree Motions?
When parties have a dispute over issues after the final order in their case, such as a divorce decree or custody order, they are typically on the road back to court to resolve them. Post-decree motions are how the issue gets back in front of the judge. A party engages in “post-decree litigation” when one files a motion claiming the court’s order is being violated or otherwise needs to be changed.
One party may contend that the other has disobeyed a court order relating to their court order. Most court orders have mediation requirements that require both parties to at least attempt mediation before filing a motion with the court. If mediation fails, the harmed party may have to file a motion – a formal request to a judge asking for an order or judgment making the other person obey the original order. The motion may also seek to punish the offending party for failing to follow through with their obligations.
Issues Handled by Post-Decree Motions
These motions are not always filed because one ex-spouse is failing to obey the original order. Circumstances in people’s lives change and agreements need to be adjusted. It is usually a good idea to modify agreements formally through the court instead of casually.
Types of post-decree motions to modify include the following:
The parent seeking a change in the original order must show the court that:
Say, for example, that the custodial parent wants to take a job in another state and take the child. If the non-custodial parent objects, the court will have to decide if the change is a substantial change of circumstances, whether the move will be in the best interest of the child, and if the benefit of the move outweighs any harm.
Whether changes in an order are sought or need to be objected to, it is important to be fully prepared before presenting anything to the judge.
The family law attorneys of Bolt Hoffer Boyd Law Firm have the experience and knowledge to guide you through this process, whether you’d like to initiate a post-decree motion or you need to respond to one. Contact us at (763) 406-7000 for a free initial consultation.