Divorce Attorneys for Post-Judgment Matters
After your divorce is final, you may run into issues that you could not have anticipated during the process. Our attorneys can help you seek to modify your rights and responsibilities, or enforce your former spouse’s obligations in court.
Circumstances change, and when they do, they can impact your rights and obligations relating to your divorce. At Crooks Law, we provide experienced legal representation for post-judgment matters, including modifications and enforcement. If you are no longer able to meet your obligations, or if your former spouse is not meeting his or hers, we can take swift, cost-effective action to protect you.
Modifying Your Divorce Decree
While divorce decrees are generally intended to be final, Wisconsin law permits former spouses to seek modifications, in the event of a substantial change in circumstances. This could be a substantial change in your life; or, in some cases, a substantial change in your spouse’s life as well. Changes that commonly lead former spouses to seek post-judgment modifications of their divorce decrees include:
- Significant changes in income (such as you losing a job or your former spouse receiving a promotion)
- Health and substance abuse problems
- Changes in a child’s physical or emotional health
- Relocation by either former spouse
Modifications of child support are generally based upon a change in one former spouse’s income. If your former spouse is making significantly more money than he or she was at the time of your divorce, this may also be grounds for you to seek a modification.
Changes in your children’s physical placement or needs may justify a request for modification of child support as well.
Custody and Physical Placement
Like the original determination of custody and physical placement, custody and physical placement modifications must serve the best interests of the children involved. You and your former spouse can stipulate to the terms of the modification; or, if necessary, you can file for a modification in court. The latter is common in situations where one parent is seeking to reduce the other parent’s physical placement time, due to alcohol or drug abuse, or other similar types of issues.
In order to request a modification within the first two years following your divorce, you must be able to demonstrate by substantial evidence, that the current arrangement is physically or emotionally harmful for your child. After two years, you can seek a modification of physical placement for any substantial change in circumstances.
In appropriate circumstances, either former spouse can request a modification of maintenance as well. Like other modifications, a request for modification of alimony must be based upon a relevant and substantial change in circumstances.
In any case, if you are no longer able to meet your obligations, it is important that you seek a modification instead of simply stopping payment or refusing to let your former spouse spend time with your children. Until you obtain a modification, the original terms of your divorce will stand. Violating the terms of your divorce you can result in severe penalties, including possible jail time. With the help of an experienced attorney, obtaining a modification can often be a relatively straightforward process.
Enforcing Your Former Spouse’s Legal Obligations
If your former spouse is refusing to meet his or her obligations with regard to the division of your property, payment of child support or maintenance, or custody and physical placement, our attorneys can help you enforce your rights. While enforcement issues can sometimes be resolved through negotiations or a stipulated modification, in other cases, we need to go to court in order to obtain enforcement orders that compel our clients’ former spouses to adhere to the terms of their divorce.
The Wisconsin courts have broad discretion to fashion remedies that are likely to be effective in forcing former spouses to comply. From wage garnishments to driver’s license suspensions and even possible jail time, we can help you seek an appropriate order to enforce the terms of your divorce.
Get Help from an Experienced Attorney at Crooks Law
If you need to seek a post-judgment modification, or if your former spouse is not respecting the terms of your divorce, the attorneys at Crooks Law can help. To schedule a confidential consultation at our offices in Wausau, please call (715) 842-2291 or contact us online today.