Post-Judgment Motions

Even after a final order in your family matters case has issued, a party can always go back to the court for further relief as follows:

Motion to modify
Based on a substantial change in circumstances, a party can ask the court to modify a final order in a case.  This includes asking the court to change the amount of child support or spousal support.  A party can also ask the court to make changes in parental rights and responsibilities for minor child, including custody.  We will work with you to clearly define your goals, and present your story to the court in a way designed to gain the changes you wish.

Motion to enforce
A party can always ask the court to enforce its own order.  By making this motion, you are alerting the court to the fact that the other party is not following its order.  The result of a successful motion to enforce is usually a renewed order from the court to the party that hasn’t followed the order, as well as an obligation by that party to pay the attorney fees of the moving party.  So, for example, if your ex-husband is not paying child support, you can tell this to the court, the court will tell him to get it paid up to date, and will force him to pay your lawyer’s bills for the entire process.

Motion for contempt
This is related to the motion to enforce, but is more challenging to win for the moving party.  With this motion, using the child support example, you have to prove to the court that your ex-husband did not pay child support and was able to do so.  If you can prove both of those things by clear and convincing evidence, then the court will order your ex-husband to either make payments by a certain date, or face the possibility of going to jail.  It is rare for someone to go to jail over child support, but it does happen.