When it comes to divorce, the end is not always the end. It’s not uncommon for issues to crop up long after the divorce decree has been issued by the court. Whether one ex-spouse feels the judgment is unfair, believes a mistake was made, or simply needs the order to be modified to reflect a major change in circumstances, you should understand the common issues that can arise even after your divorce has been finalized.
1) A parent wants to relocate
Like many other family courts, Connecticut courts make child custody decisions based on the child’s best interests. The same is true when deciding, post-divorce judgment, whether one parent can move away to another state or jurisdiction with the child in tow. You may want to relocate from Connecticut for genuine reasons, like pursuing a job opportunity or living closer to relatives. On the other side, you may be worried about being separated from your children as the Connecticut-based parent. Either way, you should consider seeking legal counsel to defend your rights as a parent.
2) The paying spouse can no longer make support payments
At some point after your divorce judgment orders alimony or child support, it’s possible for the paying ex-spouse to encounter some financial problems. Maybe he or she loses a job, sustains an injury that makes work impossible, or experiences a big reduction in business profits. When this happens for legitimate reasons, a court may rule that it would be unfair to hold the paying spouse to the original support allocations. That parent must formally request a modification to the support order, however, rather than simply ignoring or failing to make the payments.
3) An ex-spouse makes an appeal
Even in the case of important divorce judgments, mistakes can be made. It’s always possible for a judge to err at some point in the trial process, affecting the outcome of your divorce decree. It’s also possible that your ex-spouse acted fraudulently in some way, swaying the results in his or her favor. This can happen, for example, when one spouse withholds financial information before property division. You have the option to file an appeal and review any errors that may have occurred during the trial process—and potentially have the mistake corrected.
4) An ex-spouse disobeys a court order
If one of you has a problem with the original divorce judgment, it’s not advisable to ignore the decree entirely. That’s why the appeals and modification options exist. Still, some ex-spouses see fit to disobey the child visitation schedule, withhold payments, or keep property that was awarded to the other spouse. If this happens with your ex-spouse, Connecticut law affords you the right to pursue several different remedies, like the ability to collect child support payments in arrears. Your ex-spouse can face consequences like wage garnishment, a lien against property, a driver’s license suspension, or even contempt charges.
Once again, you should never ignore the court’s instructions in a divorce decree. If you feel the judgment is unfair for any reason, or if your ex-spouse has defied the decree, you should contact an established family law firm. Consult with the attorneys at Freed Marcroft for continued post-divorce support and trustworthy legal counsel.