As many people who have gone through a divorce already know, it can be an emotionally challenging and stressful time in a person’s life. Although this stress may be alleviated once the divorce is finalized, there are certain issues that may give rise to further legal complications that need to be addressed even after the conclusion of a divorce. These post-divorce matters typically arise when one party is not complying with the terms of a prenuptial agreement, reconciliation agreement, child support agreement, or other term that was already decided as part of a final judgment of divorce.
Sometimes a post-divorce matter simply requires reminding your former spouse that he or she has a legal obligation that must be carried through. If a reminder does not work, however, further legal action may be necessary to properly protect your rights. In these situations, two different options are usually available. First, the parties may agree to pursue a collaborative resolution through a process such as mediation. In the mediation process, you, your lawyer, your former spouse, your former spouse’s lawyer, and an unbiased mediator will meet to discuss the outstanding issues and try to arrive at a mutually acceptable resolution. Mediation typically can be used in situations in which the parties are not in disagreement about a fundamental legal right, but may instead have a disagreement about something else surrounding the divorce, such as how their children are being raised.
In situations in which there is disagreement regarding a legal right, a legally agreed-to benefit, or the enforcement of an agreement, such as the current amount of a monthly child support or alimony payment, the parties may have to resolve their differences through the courts. A court will likely hear a case based on this type of disagreement and will enter judgment, either with or without a formal hearing or trial. When a party is not complying with the terms of a previously made decision or agreement, the court may order compliance. In some situations, however, the court may also determine that the agreement must be modified in order to properly account for a significant change in circumstances.
Like a divorce proceeding, it is important to have proper legal representation during a post-divorce dispute. Also like an actual divorce, post-divorce disputes can be emotionally challenging and require careful consideration of each party’s feelings. With help from an experienced divorce lawyer who understands the emotional implications of a post-divorce dispute, you will be able to properly determine and carry out the appropriate course of action that will ensure that your legal rights are protected. Furthermore, with proper representation and knowledge about the legal processes involved in post-divorce disputes, you will be able to choose a course of action that will allow you to reach a resolution that serves your and your children’s best interests.