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3 Reasons You May Have to Go Back to Court After Your Divorce

David Scott, P.A. Aug. 20, 2022

Whether your divorce was simple and quick or complicated and long, you probably breathed a sigh of relief when it was finally over. It was an emotional and stressful time for everyone involved, but you can now begin to move on with your life. Right? 

Not necessarily. 

Depending on your situation, you may not ever have to go back to court once your divorce is finalized. For some people, though, post-divorce litigation may be required. 

Even though your actual divorce is over, your life and your ex-spouse’s life are still connected. The two of you may still have some unresolved issues that you hadn’t planned for during the divorce, or issues that suddenly arise after the divorce. These issues could include alimony, child support, time-sharing rights, your assets, and your credit.

1. Alimony

After a divorce, a judge may order one spouse – the higher earner – to pay alimony to the other spouse – the lower earner – for a period of time. The alimony is most often used to continue the marital way of life while that spouse tries to find another job, finish schooling, waits for a house to sell, or some other condition. In Florida, there are five different types of alimony available that can be temporary, short-term, long-term, or even permanent.

If you have been awarded an alimony payment and your ex-spouse is not adhering to those requirements, you may want to hire a post divorce attorney and go back to court to have the alimony payments enforced. On the other hand, if you are paying alimony and you believe the conditions for that alimony have changed – especially if it’s no longer needed – you also may have to go back to court.

2. Parental Responsibility and Child Support

Florida courts most often grant shared parental responsibility where both parents come up with an agreement that includes a parenting plan that outlines each parent’s specific responsibility, along with a time-sharing schedule.

If one parent doesn’t stick to the original terms of the agreement, you may want to go back to court to have the agreement enforced. Or perhaps you simply want to renegotiate the terms of your original parental responsibility agreement. If you want more or less time with your child or a specific agreement for an upcoming holiday, going back to court will be your best option to change that agreement.

The same goes for child support. When child support is awarded, the courts look at specific conditions. If those conditions have changed, you may want to have your child support arrangement reassessed in court.

A divorce involving kids can be extra complicated depending on how involved each parent wants to be in the child’s life and whether or not you and your ex-spouse get along. That’s why it’s important to keep an accurate record of both child support payments and what those payments are being used for in case anything is ever called into question. This way you’ll be prepared for anything after the divorce.

3. Assets and Protecting Your Credit

Whether your divorce was amicable or not, you may still share some assets with your ex-spouse. When your name is on an asset, you are a joint owner of that asset. So if your ex removes your name from an asset – a vehicle registration or bank account, for example – you may want to hire a post-divorce attorney to help you fight for what’s rightfully yours.

Any debts you have accrued during your marriage still need to be paid off. You and your spouse most likely have worked out who will be paying off those debts. You may even inform the creditors so they are aware of whom to contact with any issue.

If those payments are late or aren’t made at all, it could impact your credit if your name is still on the accounts. In these cases, going to court may be necessary to make sure your credit isn’t negatively affected. A judge may return the asset to you or impose a penalty on the spouse responsible for the payments.

Divorces are rarely a breeze. And just because your divorce is over, that doesn’t mean it’s over. Issues arise all the time. The agreements you made the first time around might not work anymore and need to be amended depending on new circumstances that you probably didn’t plan for. These types of issues can be complicated, but you don’t have to deal with them on your own. Contact a Florida post-divorce attorney today.