Finalizing the divorce may feel like crossing the finish line, but it is often not the end. Life after signing the decree can be just as stressful, if not more. For most people, this period after proceedings can involve financial, emotional and mental adjustments, especially if conditions in the decree require significant commitment and diligence.
Fulfilling obligations in the divorce decree can be challenging, especially for individuals with rocky relationships with their former spouses. Sometimes, they can work around the situation and collaborate for the sake of their child. Other times, the other party may fail to meet specific conditions within the decree. It can be trivial lapses in behavior, requiring little to no intervention. However, there are ways to legally address these incidents when they become repetitive and harmful to your family. In these situations, you can file a motion in court to enforce the divorce decree.
This process is like requesting a divorce decree modification, following these basic steps:
- Accomplish the necessary forms and paperwork.
- Schedule a motion date at the court that granted your divorce.
- Assemble the documents and attach the filing cost. You can submit them to court after blacking out any identifying details.
- Go into the Judiciary Electronic Document Submission (JEDS) system and upload the necessary paperwork.
- Mail a copy to your former spouse, who must receive it 24 days or more before the motion date.
Additionally, the process can vary, depending on the situation. It is best to consult the court for guidance, especially under unique circumstances.
What happens after filing the motion?
Your former spouse can respond to the motion or file a cross-motion. Still, the next step can involve a hearing on the scheduled motion date. There are times when a hearing is unnecessary. Either way, the judge will review the documents submitted to the court and decide.
Afterward, you and your former spouse will receive copies of the judge’s decision. Other options can exist to enforce a divorce decree, but their viability can depend on the case details. It is best to seek legal counsel to determine what you can do aside from filing a motion.