Post-Judgement Relief for Divorce and Parental Rights
Many times, clients are so relieved that their divorce or custody battle is over only to discover down the road that the other party is not following the Order was signed by the Judge.
The first thing that you will be asked to do is to provide me with a copy of the underlying Order or to give me permission to obtain a copy from the Court for you. If you obtained a divorce, no matter how long ago, there has to be an Order on file with the Court, dividing the property you and your former spouse owned together and/or setting out any custody or visitation provisions regarding children of the marriage. The same holds true for custody actions outside of a marriage.
Review Your Order
The first thing that I will do is to review your Order with you and make 100% sure that you are in compliance with each one of your obligations set forth in the Order. I will then carefully review this underlying Order to determine your chances of success in filing a contempt action against the other party. For example, if the other party owes you money and has not paid, you may have a high chance of winning but a low chance of collecting the money if we discover that the other person is broke and has significant debt. In this case, it may not be a good time to file an action, since you will have to pay legal fees to take that person to Court. While some Orders and settlement agreements provide for an automatic award of attorney’s fees for violation of a Court Order others do not.
Determining the Best Path
Attorney’s fees can be awarded in a contempt action but often times, the other party will attempt to settle the case early in order to get out of paying your attorney’s fees, or will not have any money to pay you with, regardless of what the Court Orders. This can often lead to frustration and needless expense, when you find yourself right back at square one. In this situation, I will assess your case and help you to determine the best path to take, which can range from a simple demand letter to diving into a more aggressive litigation strategy at the start.