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Following a divorce, the parties generally hope that their lives go back to normal and free from disputes with ex-spouses. Notwithstanding these aspirations, post-judgment disputes often arise concerning custody, visitation, maintenance, and child support. These disputes often arise for several reasons.
- Enforcement Proceedings: When one spouse fails to comply with the terms of a settlement agreement or judgment, the other spouse can file an enforcement motion seeking, among other things, specific performance (an order directing compliance with the judgment), contempt, a money judgment, and counsel fees. When a party defaults on child support obligations, the custodial parent can also seek a garnishment and even the suspension of the payor's driver's license.
- Modification Proceedings: Following entry of a judgment of divorce, either party can seek to modify the custody, maintenance, or child support provisions based upon a change in circumstances (equitable distribution provisions are generally not subject to post-judgment modification). Specifically, custody orders can be modified based upon a substantial change in circumstances, and evidence that the proposed modification is in the child’s best interest. Similarly, maintenance and child support orders are subject to modification based upon a substantial change in circumstances, including dramatic increases or decreases in either party’s income. Under some circumstances, child support orders may be automatically adjusted after the passage of three years, or a 15% change in either party’s income (some parties waive these grounds for modification in settlement agreements).
Having represented parties in enforcement and modification proceedings, Andrew T. Coyle is prepared to represent you in any post-judgment dispute.