Modifications & Contempts
Reaching a Separation Agreement or receiving a Judgment of Divorce following a trial is not likely to be the end of your involvement with your former spouse.
There maybe a failure on the part of one party to comply with the terms of a Judgment; parenting plans may need to be altered or amended; and the financial circumstances of a party can change dramatically with the passage of time. There are a number of ways these issues can be addressed after the entry of a Judgment of Divorce but the most common are Complaints for Contempt and Complaints for Modification.
Complaint for Contempt
A Complaint for Contempt is filed by a party asserting that a provision of an Separation Agreement or a Judgment of the Court has been willfully disobeyed. The party filing the Complaint for Contempt is generally seeking relief in the form of enforcement of the Court's Order or Judgment. In order to prevail, the party filing the Complaint for Contempt must prove a willful disobedience of a clear and unequivocal Court Order or Judgment. If successful attorney's fees and costs may be presumptively awarded in a contempt proceeding.
Complaint for Modification
A Complaint for Modification may be filed by one party suggesting that a provision or provisions of an Agreement or Judgment should be changed. More specifically the party seeking a modification must allege that a material change in circumstances has occurred justifying a modification. Common examples are changes in employment including job loss, promotions and retirement; changes in custodial arrangements; allocation of college expenses; and changes in support.