Post-Decree Motion Lawyers in Anoka
You may have thought that your divorce decree was final, and that 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 typically go 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. 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
Court orders are not always followed, an ex-spouse may fail to follow the court order and a motion needs to be brought to enforce the 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:
- Motion to modify custody: A child may want to live with the other parent, or a parent's job may change, requiring the modification.
- Motion to modify parenting time: For the reasons given for a custody change, parenting time might need to be modified.
- Motion to modify child support: Financial situations may change for either parent, requiring a modification to the original decree.
- Motion to modify spousal maintenance: Either parent may experience changes in their financial situation that would warrant a modification of spousal maintenance payments.
The parent seeking a change in the original order must show the court that:
- A substantial change of circumstances has occurred
- The change is in the best interest of the child
- The benefit outweighs any harm
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 attorneys of Bolt 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.