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Michigan Family Law Blog

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Post-Judgment Issues in Divorce and Family Law

There are many issues that can arise after a divorce is finalized, these are called post-judgment issues by family law attorneys in Michigan.  When a post-judgment issue comes up, the most important thing to do is contact a divorce lawyer immediately to address the issues.  Judgments are not self-executing, that means that if one party does not do what he or she is supposed to do according to the orders of the court, no-one is going to make that person do it unless you take the matter back to court.

Common Post-Judgment Issues

There are several common post-judgment issues that may arise.  Custody, parenting time and child support are the most common because all of those may be changed after the divorce until the children reach age eighteen or with respect to child support, nineteen and one-half if the child is still living at home and attending high school with a reasonable expectation of graduation. 

Another common issue is alimony, because in some cases alimony can be modified based upon a change in circumstances or because one party is attempting to avoid paying it.  Generally people paying alimony hate paying alimony.  These cases are particularly important to address immediately for a variety of reasons.  When it comes to child support or alimony, it is extremely important if you are paying the same to contact an attorney immediately because child support and alimony cannot be retroactively modified.  For instance, the divorced couple may reunite and move back in together.  If the person that was paying child or spousal support does not enter an order with the court to abate or modify the support, then the support will continue to accrue and the payer will have an arrears.  If the parties then break up, the support recipient can demand that the court order the payer to pay the arrears and according to statute, the payer would be stuck paying the arrears even though it is not equitable in any way.  

Other common problems revolve around the transfer of retirement assets, sale of the marital home and other property related issues.  In these cases, again, the court does not know that the person is not taking the appropriate action unless you bring it to the court's attention.  A good family law attorney will meet with you, discuss a proper course of action and then file the appropriate motions to enforce the judgment of divorce.  The court will then order the noncomplying party to comply and may order sanctions or fines against that party.  

Finally, another problem that is commonly seen when parties attempt to get divorced without an attorney in the original divorce proceedings are judgments that do not cover all the bases or are generally unclear regarding the parties rights and duties.  In these cases, the attorney will have to file a motion for the court to interpret and enforce the judgment of divorce.  These are often very difficult cases and it can be hard to advise a client exactly what the court will do because the judgment simply does not address this problem or addresses it an unclear or contradictory manner.

If you are contemplating a divorce, are going through a divorce without an attorney, or have post-judgment issues regarding a divorce, it is imperative to have good legal counsel that is well-versed in family law.  Please contact Cameron Goulding to schedule a consultation through the website or by contacting Cathy at (248) 608-4123 or cathy@camerongoulding.com.

 


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