Enforcement / Contempt / Modification Proceedings

ContemptEvery person who has gone through a divorce hopes that the final judgment will be the end of the litigation. Sometimes, however, the other party does not comply with the court order and it is necessary to consult an attorney to enforce the terms of the final judgment. It is also possible that, since the final judgment was entered, there has been a substantial change in one or both party’s circumstances. In such a case, it may be necessary to ask the court to modify the terms of the final judgment to suit the parties’ current circumstances.

If one party acts in violation of a parenting plan or alimony, child support order, the other party can seek a remedy in court by filing a Motion for Civil Contempt and Enforcement. For example, suppose a husband and wife entered into an agreed parenting plan as part of their divorce three years ago. The parenting plan states that the husband is to have custody of the children during the school week and that the wife is to have custody of the children every weekend, starting on Friday after school and ending Monday before school. If the husband starts to schedule activities for the children on the weekends and does not allow the wife to assume custody of the children until Saturday evening on most weekends, then the husband is acting in violation of the parenting plan. In this instance, the wife can a file a Motion for Civil Contempt and Enforcement with the Court to enforce the terms of the existing parenting plan. There are a number of remedies that the Court may order in favor of the compliant parent. The Court may order additional visitation time for the compliant parent, order the non-compliant parent to pay the compliant parent’s attorney’s fees and court costs, order the non-compliant to attend an approved parenting course, or modify the existing parenting plan. The Court may even hold the non-compliant parent in contempt of court.

Sometimes, it may not be necessary to seek a remedy in court. Many times, a well-drafted letter to the other party is sufficient to make him or her comply with the terms of the existing court order. Ms. Loftus has the discretion and professionalism to know what approach to take to reach a favorable resolution in a particular case.

If circumstances have changed since the entry of a parenting plan, order awarding alimony, or child support order, then it may be necessary to petition the Court to modify the terms of that parenting plan or order. Using the above example, suppose the husband moved to a home twenty miles away from his previous address (the address where he lived at the time the parenting plan was agreed to). The wife is now unable to pick up the children on Fridays after they get out of school because of the lengthened commute and has to wait until Saturday morning to pick them up. The husband’s move is a changed circumstance, and the wife may choose to file a Supplemental Petition to Modify the parenting plan, perhaps to provide for a central pick-up/drop-off location.

Ms. Loftus frequently handles enforcement, contempt, and modification proceedings. She and her team are ready to discuss your case and craft an approach tailored to your specific circumstances.

"Leslie could easily have taken advantage of this situation, but she did not. Instead, she remained a trusted and steadfast advocate even when I was feeling frustrated by the whole process." - Peter


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