Getting your divorce, custody, or child support case decided, or reaching an agreement isn’t always the end of the story. If the opposing party in your case has failed to follow the order or agreement you have in place, you may need to consider filing a Petition for Contempt. Sometimes violation of an order or agreement is not an issue, but circumstances have changed and the existing order just isn’t working anymore, in these situations you may want to file a Motion to Modify your current order.
When you have an existing order and you need something changed, you may need to file a Petition for Contempt or a Motion to Modify, or sometimes both. There are certain factors that a court must consider when making a decision in either of these matters, and it’s not always cut and dry.
Consultation or coaching with an attorney can help you to determine from the beginning what you need to file and when is the best time for you to file it. Whether you need full representation or just a bit of advice and guidance, a call to an attorney is always a good way to get started.
There are a number of things you should consider when determining whether to file a Petition for Contempt or Motion to Modify.
- Are the problems you are facing serious enough to justify the time and expense of a court battle?
- Has there been a material change in circumstances since the time of your last order?
- How long has it been since your current order was entered?
- If you have a custody case, are the problems affecting your children, or only affecting you and the other parent?
- Is there a change that the court can realistically make that would solve your problem? In other words, will taking the opposing party back to court really solve the problem?
These are just some of the questions an attorney will ask when helping you to determine what you should file and also what your chances of success are.