Common Post-Divorce Issues & How to Address Them
What Issues Commonly Arise After Divorce?
Divorce is a life-altering event that brings with it a host of legal and emotional challenges. Even after the dust has settled and the divorce decree has been finalized, there can still be lingering issues that need to be addressed. Below, we discuss five common post-divorce issues that you may have to navigate.
Post-Divorce Issue #1 | Relocation
After a divorce, you may be moving out of your current home. Whether you're selling your home and splitting the process with your ex-spouse or moving out on your own, it's important to approach this transition with careful planning and emotional resilience.
Here are some practical tips to help make the transition go more smoothly:
Plan your move-out timeline. Having a clear timeline can help alleviate some of the stress associated with moving. Start by determining your move-out date. Doing this will give you a target to work towards and allow you to break down the moving process into manageable tasks.
Declutter, especially if you are downsizing. Moving is a great opportunity to declutter and downsize. Sorting through your belongings can be emotionally taxing, especially when certain items hold sentimental value. However, letting go of what you no longer need can also be liberating. Consider donating, selling, or recycling items that you don't wish to take to your new home.
Budget. Moving can be expensive, especially if you're on a tight budget post-divorce. Start by creating a realistic budget for moving expenses. Be sure to include costs such as packing supplies, professional movers, or a rental truck. If funds are tight, consider cost-saving strategies like moving during the off-peak season or packing your items yourself.
Consider hiring professionals. Hiring a professional moving company can save you time and reduce stress. Although it's an added expense, professionals have the experience and equipment to efficiently pack, transport, and unpack your belongings. Remember to get quotes from several companies to ensure you're getting a fair price.
Seek emotional support. Moving out of a family home can bring a range of emotions – sadness, relief, fear, excitement. It's important to acknowledge and process these feelings. Consider seeking professional counseling or joining a support group. Sharing your experiences with others going through similar situations can provide comfort and valuable insights.
Relocation after divorce can be a complex issue, especially if children are involved. These tips are still applicable. However, to help make the transition easier, you should also take the time to discuss the move with your kids. They can benefit from you helping them process their emotions concerning leaving the family home and understanding whether the move will affect other aspects of their lives (i.e. changing extracurricular groups, schools, etc.).
Post-divorce, you may also consider moving out of state or a few counties away. However, if you have children and plan to move 50 or more miles from the residence listed in your custodial agreement or for at least 60 consecutive days, you will need the court’s or the other parent’s consent (Florida Statute § 61.13001).
If a parent agrees you can relocate, you will need to file a signed agreement with the court that clearly outlines that both parties agree to the relocation and outlines any transportation agreements and time-sharing changes for the party who is not relocating. Without the other parent’s agreement, you will need to file a petition that includes:
Where and when you plan to move
Why you are moving (if because of work with an included job offer)
How you see the time-sharing or visitation schedule changing with the move
It is important to note that noncustodial parents do not need permission to relocate. Only relocations that will affect the child’s permanent residence require court approval. Thus, parents who have physical custody are the only ones who need to have consent.
Post-Divorce Issue #2 | Enforcing Court Order
Following your divorce, you and your ex-spouse will have court orders you have to adhere to concerning alimony, custody, property division, and child support. However, sometimes, your ex may fail to adhere to the orders. Common ways court orders are violated post-divorce include:
Violating custody orders. If the ex-spouse disobeys the court's custody orders, such as not returning the children at the agreed time or taking them without permission, it's a violation of court orders.
Failing to pay alimony or child support. The ex-spouse may refuse to pay the agreed amount of alimony or child support, which is a clear violation of the divorce decree.
Refusing visitation rights. The ex-spouse may refuse to allow the other parent their lawful visitation rights.
Failing to adhere to property division orders. If the ex-spouse fails to transfer property as ordered by the court, this would be a violation.
Ignoring restraining orders. If there's a restraining order in place and the ex-spouse contacts or approaches the other party, it's a breach of the court order.
Failing to comply with other divorce decree provisions. This could include not following through on agreements about shared debts, health insurance, or other stipulations in the divorce decree.
If your ex-spouse is not complying with the court order, you have the right to seek enforcement from the court. This usually involves filing a motion for contempt or enforcement, explaining how the other party has failed to comply. The court can then take several measures, such as garnishing wages or issuing fines, to ensure compliance.
Post-Divorce Issue #3 | Changes in Circumstance Require Modification
Life is full of changes, and circumstances that were once applicable during your divorce proceedings may no longer hold true. If there's a significant change in circumstances—like loss of a job, a substantial increase in income, or a change in a child's needs—you might be able to modify your existing court orders concerning alimony, child custody, and/or child support.
Post-Divorce Issue #4 | Divorce Case Appeals
If you believe the court made a mistake in its final decision, you might consider filing an appeal. In simple terms, an appeal is a request made to a higher court to review and change the decision of a lower court. It's not a chance to present new evidence or re-argue the case; instead, it's an opportunity to point out legal errors that may have affected the final judgment in your divorce case.
The first step in the appeals process is to file a Notice of Appeal with the clerk of the lower court. In Florida, you have 30 days from the date the final judgment was rendered to do this. Filing this notice effectively informs all parties involved that you are challenging the decision.
If you want to appeal rulings concerning alimony, property division, child support, or child custody determinations, you should consult with your attorney. They can help you understand your chances for an appeal and discuss the process with you in further detail.
Post-Divorce Issue #5 | Handling the Grieving Process
Getting divorced can have a serious impact on your emotional health. Post-divorce, you may still continue to experience a wide range of emotions about the end of your marriage and what life looks like now. Navigating the divorce grief cycle can be more challenging than you realize.
For practical tips about navigating the emotional impact of divorce, read our blog, “Dealing with the Emotional Pain of Divorce.”
The journey through divorce and its aftermath can be both emotionally and legally challenging. But understanding your legal rights and options can empower you to navigate these challenges more effectively. Thus, it is always wise to consult with a legal professional who can provide advice tailored to your specific circumstances.
How Our Firm Can Help with Post-Divorce Issues
Dale L. Bernstein, Chartered Law Office is known for providing clients with high-quality, aggressive representation. Whether you need help with a modification, relocation, and/or appeals, our firm is here and equipped to help.
Learn more about how we can help you by calling (727) 312-1112 today.