It depends. Do you have children together? Are there assets and liabilities that still need to be divided? Is one spouse not complying with the terms of the Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage or the Judgment for Allocation of Parental Responsibilities? Did one spouse lose his or her job? The truth is, while your divorce may be “final” on your “prove-up” date, which is the day you appear in court to finalize the dissolution of your marriage, it is not necessarily the last time you will appear in court or must deal with your now ex-spouse. Oftentimes there are “post-decree” or post-divorce issues that need to formally be resolved in a post-decree case.

Your final Judgment sets forth, in detail, each spouse’s obligations. If, for example, the Judgment states that your spouse should pay a certain percentage of child-related expenses, but your spouse refuses to comply or is continuously late with reimbursements, you have several options. You may try to resolve the issues amongst yourselves or seek mediation for the dispute. However, if you exhausted all options and your spouse is still in violation of the terms of the Judgment, you may need to file a post-decree action, where you formally file a petition with the Court asking it to enforce the terms of your Judgment.

The aforementioned scenario is just one example of why you may return to court after your divorce is final. You may also need to return to court to: determine contribution to college expenses when your minor children reach the appropriate age; modify child support or maintenance; modify a parenting schedule or custody arrangement; or seek an enforcement of the many financial and child-related terms already set forth in the Judgment. The list goes on and on.

While legally you will be parting ways with your spouse when your divorce is final, it may also very well be a “see you later.” Your trusted pre-divorce attorney will guide you post-divorce as well.

Eleftherea (“Rea”) V. Goanos, Of Counsel
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