The terms of a divorce decree usually reflects what is best and fair for the parties based on their circumstances at the time of the divorce. However, as we all know too well, circumstances can unexpectedly change over the course of time. Therefore, what worked for one or both parties at the time of the divorce may no longer be feasible or practicable after years have passed.
For example, imagine a family that has a husband with a full-time job, a wife with a part-time job, and two children. At the time of the divorce, the court may award joint custody of the children, and order the husband to pay monthly child support and alimony to the wife. A few years pass and the wife lands a high-powered job in a city four hours away. Meanwhile, the husband has been suffering from medical problems and can now only work part-time. The husband can no longer afford to pay the originally ordered support payments and, furthermore, the wife no longer requires additional financial help. Also, regularly traveling four hours each way to continue the joint custody arrangement is likely no longer in anyone’s best interest. Often, after some time has passed, the court will find that the circumstances of one or both of the parties in the divorce have changed substantially enough to warrant a modification to the original divorce agreement.
In many other situations, though a divorce agreement will contain numerous provisions regarding property division, custody, support, and more, a party may ignore one or more of those provisions. In such cases, the court may be petitioned to enforce the original terms of the agreement. For example, if the wife in the above hypothetical scenario did not allow the husband to see their children, she would be violating the court-ordered custody arrangement and the husband could ask the court to enforce it.
Obtaining such a modification or enforcement does require a return to court, which may seem daunting for many people. However, an experienced family law attorney at the Law Offices of Raymond B. Benzinger can help make this process easier for you and achieve a positive result for you. Call us today for assistance at (703) 312-0410.