Sometimes even after a divorce circumstances change and courts become involved to address the arising disputes. Common but non-exhaustive events that can trigger such court applications include:
Increases and/or reductions in the income of a former spouse;
Loss of employment of a former spouse;
Retirement of a spouse paying alimony;
A change in custody; and
Cohabitation of a spouse receiving alimony.
Frequently, another event causing post-judgment applications is determining college contribution required of the parents. For example, parents who have already divorced, or who have had their support obligations otherwise addressed by order or agreement, may not agree on how to pay for college.
When a dispute over the impact of a change in circumstance or college contribution occurs, one of the parties usually files a motion asking a judge to decide the issue. Sometimes the application can be resolved based on the motion with no further litigation required. Other times the judge requires more information to resolve the issue. In that instance, the judge may order “discovery”, which in this instance typically focuses on the exchange of relevant financial information. Once the discovery has been exchanged, the judge may then conduct a plenary hearing (i.e., a type of trial) to ultimately resolve the issues originally raised in connection with the motion. As this procedure suggests, post-judgment applications can be complicated. Jennifer and Erin have both helped clients through a variety or post-judgment issues.