You might hope that disputes with your former spouse are a thing of the past once you receive your divorce decree. Unfortunately, post-judgment disagreements could arise about various issues. Sometimes you must go back to court to settle them.
Your divorce decree encompasses enforceable court orders, so it is wise to seek legal advice from an attorney if they are not working as you anticipated. A Boca-Raton post-divorce disputes lawyer could help you manage disagreements with your ex in the most efficient but effective way possible.
Situations That Could Lead to Post-Divorce Disputes
Everyone hopes the judge’s final orders will put the issues in the divorce to rest. Sometimes, however, lingering bitterness over the divorce or matters of mutual concern causes post-divorce disputes. Life changes or the evolving needs of children could also create conflict.
A post-judgment disagreement could arise about almost anything. A Boca Raton lawyer often handles post-divorce issues concerning:
Parenting plan disputes could include concern over the presence of third parties at visits, rules the children must follow in each parent’s home, a parent’s use of tobacco, alcohol, or other substances in the children’s presence, and many other issues.
The best way to manage a post-divorce dispute is through dialog. When the former spouses do not communicate well enough to talk through their disagreement and resolve it, mediation could be helpful. Another alternative is to consult a legal representative who could speak with the other party’s attorney or directly to the other spouse to find an acceptable solution.
Modifying or Enforcing a Divorce Order
Sometimes changes or unexpected developments require modifying one of the court orders. Sometimes, one of the parties is non-compliant without an excuse, and the other party must enforce an existing order. A Boca Raton attorney could help with either process to resolve the post-divorce dispute.
Changes in circumstances might require modifying one of the court orders. The parties could agree on a modification and submit it to the court for approval and adoption as an official order. When the change concerns any aspect of the parenting plan, the court will review it to ensure it is in the children’s best interests. When only one party wants a modification, the court will likely send the parties to mediation before scheduling a hearing.
When one of the parties needs to enforce an order, they could bring a petition for enforcement (contempt/compel) in court. The court will require the non-compliant party to explain why they have not adhered to the order. If they have a significant legal excuse that the court finds acceptable, the court may choose not to order compel compliance with court order. When the party has no valid excuse, the court could impose sanctions, including fines, an order to pay court costs and the petitioning party’s attorney’s fees, and jail time.
When a Post-Divorce Dispute Turns Violent
Sometimes a former spouse engages in threatening, harassing, or violent behavior. Anyone experiencing this conduct due to a post-divorce dispute should contact their Boca Raton lawyer immediately. In many cases, the attorney will advise the person to call the police. The police should be the first call if violent physical contact or inappropriate physical contact occurs, or the threat of violent physical contact or inappropriate physical contact occurs.
Witnessing violence between parents is harmful to children. Judges expect a parent who experienced domestic violence when the children were present to report it— a court could interpret a parent’s failure to report as a failure to protect the children. Changing the parenting plan could be necessary when domestic violence happens after a couple divorces.
If a child is visiting from another jurisdiction then Florida Statutes § 61.517(3) allows a parent to seek an emergency change in a timesharing (child custody and visitation) order if necessary to protect the physical and emotional health of the child. If granted, the order is effective immediately and remains in effect until a hearing before the court with jurisdiction over the parenting plan. The parent who seeks an emergency order also should pursue a parenting plan modification before the court with jurisdiction over the parenting plan, which normally takes considerably longer to schedule.
Contact a Boca Raton Post-Divorce Disputes Attorney to Handle Any Issues
Like most aspects of divorce, your results will be better if you and your former spouse can negotiate a solution to a disagreement yourselves. A Boca Raton post-divorce disputes lawyer could help you resolve the issue and, if necessary, submit a modified order to the court. When the situation requires immediate action, a legal professional could guide you through the process of getting a temporary emergency order.
Do not try to handle these complicated issues without legal advice. Contact a knowledgeable attorney today.