A final divorce decree does not always end the relationship between two people. Former spouses often have a continuing financial relationship, and if they are parents, they must interact on matters relating to their children.
Disagreements between divorced couples are common. If the dispute centers on an aspect of their life that the divorce decree covers, returning to court could be necessary.
A Ballwin post-divorce disputes lawyer from Jones Family Law Group, LLC, could help you resolve conflicts with your former spouse. A skilled family law attorney could provide sound advice to help you settle the matter quickly and efficiently. Sometimes, modifying a court order is an appropriate response—in other cases, you might seek court intervention to enforce an existing order.
Negotiation Should Be the First Step
Post-divorce disputes often arise over spousal support, child support, or other aspects of the parenting plan. Whenever you and your former spouse have a significant disagreement on a matter relating to your divorce, working it out through conversation and negotiation is always the optimal strategy.
Family courts have crowded dockets, and judges want to avoid hearing disputes that the parties could have resolved on their own. Attempting to find a solution without court intervention is especially important where there are time sensitive disputes. Judges expect parents to try to work together to solve issues for their children’s benefit and may sometimes hold a parent’s refusal to negotiate or compromise against them.
Consider mediation if you and your former spouse do not communicate well or cannot resolve the issue at hand. Working with a neutral third party often helps clarify a situation and allows a mutually acceptable resolution. Alternatively, negotiations between your Ballwin attorney and your former spouse’s legal counsel could settle the post-divorce disputes.
Modifying a Court’s Order
When a couple divorces, the court issues the property division arrangement, spousal maintenance (if any), and parenting plan as court orders. The parties must abide by them or could risk court sanctions. However, it is sometimes possible to modify court orders.
The property division order cannot be modified; it is final once the court issues it. Couples can restrict modification of spousal support orders, but if your court order does not restrict modification, a party could seek to change a spousal support order. All orders regarding children must reflect the children’s current best interests, and the parenting plan could always be changed if the children’s best interests support modification.
A court must approve any modification and issue it as a court order. Judges usually will only hear a request to modify a court order if one or both parties have experienced a substantial change in circumstances since the last order. Whether you seek modification or would like the current arrangement to stand, our Ballwin post-divorce disputes attorney could develop compelling arguments in favor of your position.
Seeking to Enforce a Current Order
If your former spouse is violating the court’s order, you could bring them to court seeking enforcement. If the problem is their failure to pay child support or maintenance as agreed, the court could garnish their wages, attach their tax refund, suspend their driver’s license, or take multiple other steps to ensure you receive the money your ex owes. A lien could be placed on their real estate as well.
When the problem is a failure to observe the parenting plan, the options depend on the nature of the violation. You could ask the court to hold your co-parent in contempt of court if they are refusing to adhere to the visitation schedule, violating the visitation rules, or trying to force your children to take sides against you.
Sometimes situations arise where you need an emergency change to a custody order. If your child is in danger or your co-parent attempts to remove them from the area without prior approval, Missouri Revised Statutes §452.755 allows you to seek a temporary custody order until a court can hold a full hearing on the matter. A Ballwin attorney from our firm could represent you at the hearing and ensure the court understands the risk the post-divorce dispute poses to your child.
Call a Ballwin Post-Divorce Disputes Attorney for Legal Guidance
If some aspect of your divorce decree is causing turmoil or is unworkable, you have legal options to improve the situation. You could ask a court to modify its order if necessary. If your spouse is non-compliant without a reasonable excuse, you could ask a court to enforce its order.
A Ballwin post-divorce disputes lawyer from our firm could advise you on the most effective strategy for your situation. Call Jones Family Law Group, LLC, today to speak with a seasoned family attorney.