Post-Decree Modification

Many of the divorce related cases that either find themselves contest and go to court or otherwise result in disagreement are those that occur after the divorce has taken place. This might be the case, for example, when a divorce agreement is ambiguous and imprecise and provides no clear guidance about what to do as different circumstances arise after the divorce is completed; or it might occur where a situation has changed and now requires a new response not addressed in the divorce order.

Where a situation has to go to court because one of the parties is not abiding by the terms of the agreement, it is important that the original agreement include a provision whereby the violating party pays the attorney fees. The real lesson for the post-decree modification cases, however, is that the terms of the original divorce agreement be clear and concise with no ambiguity or room for different interpretations. In addition, a well thought through divorce agreement will also include provisions for resolution of disagreements. For example, where the clients are continuing to own a house together, it terms should be included whereby it is clear how and under what circumstances one of the parties can take out their half interest in the equity; rather than leaving the joint ownership ambiguous in this regard. Generally, a well written divorce agreement will make going back to court or arguing about different interpretations unnecessary.

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