The divorce process is rarely easy. In fact, sometimes, it is downright antagonistic. If you have been through the process, you probably do not want to go through it again. Even if you managed to get through the divorce process without it turning adversarial, you were undoubtedly glad to see it come to an end. What happens though, if a dispute regarding the terms of the divorce arises after the fact? Similarly, what happens if you want to modify custody, child support, or another term from the original divorce decree? To answer these questions, a Plano father’s rights attorney offers tips for resolving post-divorce disputes.
The Divorce Process
When a married couple decides to end the marriage, the legal process of divorce follows. Ideally, the parties to a divorce are able to work together to reach a mutually agreeable marital settlement agreement that resolves all the potential issues in the divorce, including things such as conservatorship, possession and access, and child support if there are minor children of the marriage as well as division of marital debts and assets. If the parties cannot reach an agreement outside of court, the matter will eventually proceed to trial where all the unresolved issues will be settled. One way or another, the terms of the divorce will be reduced to writing in a final decree of dissolution. Once the final decree has been accepted by the court, the terms of the decree become orders of the court. Violating one of the terms of your divorce, therefore, could result in sanctions for contempt of court. For this reason, it is vital that you not abide by the terms of your divorce unless, and until, the court changes them. This applies even in a situation where both parties agree to deviate from the orders of the court because, in the eyes of the court, the only changes that count are those approved by the court.
Divorce is somewhat of an anomaly within the law because everyone involved agrees, or at least acknowledges, that the court’s final order may not be final. The reality is that circumstances often change after the terms of a divorce are decided that prompt one of the parties to request a change in the terms of the divorce. Although a dispute could arise over almost anything in the decree, the most common causes of post-divorce disputes fall into one of the following categories:
- Financial issues – without fail, a divorce changes each party’s financial situation. If one party’s income fluctuates considerably post-divorce, it could prompt a request to revisit spousal support. Conflicts regarding payment of marital debts or transfer of marital property may also arise after the divorce is finalized.
- Parenting issues – probably the most common cause of post-divorce disputes are issues related to custody and visitation, referred to as “conservatorship” and “possession and access” in Texas.
- Enforcement/contempt— the terms of a divorce decree are orders of the court; however, that doesn’t always mean people obey those orders. In fact, a common reason for parties to a divorce to return to court is to address an alleged violation of the orders set forth in the divorce. In essence, one party is asking the court to enforce the orders in the original decree.
How Can a Plano Father’s Rights Attorney Help with Post-Divorce Disputes?
If you find that you are involved in a post-divorce dispute, the best way to handle the situation is to consult with an experienced Plano father’s rights attorney right away. Do not try to resolve the problem yourself if the other party is clearly not amenable to a resolution. Even if your ex-spouse appears agreeable to an out of court resolution, you will still need to reduce the terms of that agreement to writing and submit it to the court for approval. Failing to seek the court’s approval is a huge mistake because without the court’s stamp of approval the agreement is not legally binding on either of you, making it impossible to enforce should there be an issue down the road.
Contact a Plano Father’s Rights Attorney
If you have additional questions or concerns regarding the resolution of post-divorce disputes, contact an experienced Plano father’s rights attorney at The Law Office of Jon R. Boyd by calling 972-332-0104 to schedule your appointment today.
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