Family Law - Post Decree Issues

The entry of the Decree of Dissolution or the Order for the Parenting Plan in a Allocation of Parental Responsibilities case may seem to permanently settle all issues. However, it is often not the end of court involvement in your continuing life and the lives of your children. 

Sometimes issues are about following through on obligations from the original Court Orders.  This would include problems with refinancing, paying debts, closing accounts and dividing assets.

As children grow, their needs for parenting time change.  They may need more or less parenting time with a parent.  Their schedule may become more complex with school, activities and their own jobs.  Parents may desire to relocate to an area that would disrupt parenting time.  Child support amounts may change as parents change employment or have increases or decreases in salary. 

Hopefully these issues will be discussed between the parents, keeping the child’s needs in mind, and resolution reached in a respectful, collaborative manner.  Sometimes, the parents will need to consult experts about the child’s stage of development, medical or psychological needs.  Mediation can be used to facilitate a structured discussion between the parents.  Sometimes lawyers are needed to calculate the child support, draft documents, support the parents in mediation or a collaborative meeting or take the issue to the courts.

It is always better to start with the process that will cause the least conflict.  It is difficult to move from conflict to cooperation and always possible to move from cooperation to a more adversarial approach.  Starting with discussion and moving to mediation and collaborative law will save stress on the family and will likely be less expensive than starting with litigation.