More often than not, divorce is a challenging process. Once the court issues your final divorce decree, you want to breathe a sigh of relief and move on with your life. Unfortunately, this is not always what happens. Even after your divorce is finalized, disputes between you and your ex-spouse can arise. If these disputes cannot be worked out between the two of you, you will need to go to court and ask a judge to determine the outcome. Before doing so, be sure to meet with a knowledgeable divorce lawyer to discuss your options.
If you and your ex-spouse do not agree on one of the many issues that impact couples after their divorce, you can file a post-decree motion with the court. Although you do not need a divorce attorney to file the motion for you, it is always best to have legal representation when dealing with post-divorce disagreements.
Post-decree motions are often filed when one ex-spouse does not adhere to the court’s orders as spelled out in the final divorce decree. Non-adherence can involve a variety of issues, such as failing to pay spousal support or child support or ignoring custody or visitation orders. The ex-spouse ignoring the order could be held in contempt of court for doing so. These types of motions are also filed when a significant change occurs that impacts the financial or custody arrangements address in the divorce decree. For example, if one spouse becomes unemployed, has their income increase, or needs to move out of state.
Once your divorce lawyer files a post-divorce motion, the legal process for dealing with the issue is similar to that of the process of divorce itself. A hearing will be set before a judge or a magistrate. Sometimes this hearing will need to be scheduled at a much later date because of the high volume of cases.
Before the hearing, each ex-spouse, along with their attorney, will conduct discovery to obtain relevant information about the motion. Since Virginia state statues addressing evidence and civil procedure are complicated, it is crucial to have an attorney with you during this process.
The ex-spouses have the opportunity to reach an agreement and settle the issue before going to court. If they do, they can amend the divorce decree and ask the court for approval. If they cannot settle the issue independently, it will go to court, and a judge will decide the outcome.
Whether you are divorced or legally separated, a dispute with your ex may require court intervention. Before doing anything else, you should speak with an experienced divorce attorney who can give you advice on how to proceed. At Mahoney Richmond Thurston, PLLC, we know how distressing post-divorce disputes can be, and we aim to make this process as easy as possible. Contact us today to speak with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.