Modifications and Enforcements
Modification of Final Judgment
Family Law cases are unique in that most provisions of a family law case may be modified under certain circumstances. Equitable Distribution (the Court's original division of assets and liabilities) may not be modified after a final order becomes unappealable (typically 30 days after it was rendered), but Child Support, Timesharing, Parental Responsibility and Alimony continue to be modifiable by filing a proper pleading with a court having jurisdiction over the matter. The pleading requirements (what the filing must say) and the legal standard that must be met vary based upon which portion of a final judgment you are attempting to modify.
A party is not only expected to, but is legally required to comply with valid Court orders. If the other party is refusing to abide by the Court order, the other party may enforce the order by way of enforcement or contempt.
Contempt is a very powerful tool, but may only be utilized for certain issues like the payment of child support, alimony, attorneys' fees, or performance of an act (like signing document to transfer title to a car awarded in Equitable Distribution). Contempt allows a Court to place a non-complying party in jail until he complies with the Court order, so long as the Court find he or she is able to comply, but is willfully refusing to comply. If you are owed child support, alimony, or attorneys fees, or if you have a question about enforcing your judgment, contact our office for a confidential consultation.