Life After Divorce: Modification vs Enforcement

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Once a divorce is finalized, you’re probably feeling a rush of different emotions. Heartbreak, relief, maybe even elation? Whatever you’re going through at that moment is totally normal and understandable. However, sometimes divorces have a weird way of coming back to haunt us when we least expect it. After finalizing your divorce, your ex may refuse to move out of your home, pay alimony or child support, or even refuse to allow you to see your children. In these situations, you need to consider divorce modification or enforcement.

Differences Between Modification & Enforcement

Everyone hopes that once a divorce is finalized, that means that they never have to talk to their former spouse ever again, but sometimes he or she does not follow through with their end of the deal. There are two main plans of action when it comes to these situations:

Modification: Refers to the process of changing a court order that has already been entered.

Enforcement: Refers to the process of making sure that the terms of the court order are being followed.

These are both legal methods of telling your ex: “You’d better pay what you owe,” in whatever capacity they should be. Although going to court to file a complaint may not feel like a first resort, your time and emotional energy are valuable. You don’t have to allow your ex to continue to have this kind of effect on your life as a way of taking the “high-road,” especially if he or she is the one guilty of wrongdoing!

Why Would I Need a Modification or Enforcement?

The general hope is that a solid divorce agreement will make sure that you are now free and clear of a toxic relationship forever, but sometimes your divorce agreement or final judgment may have certain requirements to make sure that you have the best outcome possible. For example, modifications are sometimes necessary when children are involved. Kids get older and sometimes their needs change and their social lives become their priority, which means that you might need to make a modification to a custody agreement. This can often be changed amicably, without the need of a lawyer, but sometimes something as simple as changing pick-up times or swapping weekends can mean the end of the world to an uncooperative ex. Modification plans involving children in Florida can be a challenge, so incorporating the expert advice of a lawyer is essential.

The term “enforcement” looks and sounds like it means business, and it does. After a messy divorce, people often feel like they have no recourse when their ex fails to keep up their end of the agreement, however, it is possible to ask a judge to enforce their court order. Aside from inconsistent parenting, one of the most common ways for exes to retaliate is to withhold the money that they’ve been ordered to pay. Especially when it comes to alimony payments, time is of the essence. Your ex may be relying on your goodwill and giving them the benefit of the doubt, but you were granted alimony or child support payments for a reason. Never give your ex the opportunity to mess with your finances more than they already have. If they were

inconsistent and flaky during your marriage, they’re going to be ten times worse after a divorce.

What Should I Do When My Ex Fails to Comply?

First and foremost, stay calm. As difficult as it may be when someone is actively trying to mess with your life, clear heads will prevail. The very next step should be to call your attorney. An experienced divorce attorney can help you understand the best course of action and help you find the equilibrium and peace you deserve.

There is a happy life waiting for you. Our trusted Legal Team provides bilingual legal services in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. We handle all financial aspects of Florida Divorces, including Mediation, Postnuptial Agreements, and Asset Protection.

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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

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Sergio Cabanas, Esq. | Family Law Attorney | Cabanas Law Firm

Sergio Cabanas, Esq. founded the Cabanas Law Firm in 2006 and provides Divorce and Family legal services, as well as Estate Planning, to ensure his clients have planned for their newly single life and are protected after their divorce. He began his career in law in 1992 as a prosecuting attorney at the Broward County State Attorney’s Office, then continued his litigation track as an insurance defense attorney defending medical professionals against medical malpractice claims and expanded into disability and life insurance claims. Sergio is a Certified Mediator registered in the Supreme Court of Florida and a frequent speaker in the community about the importance of Estate Planning to keep families out of probate court and to prepare essential instructions in the event of disability or incapacity.