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Post-Decree Modifications And Contempt Actions

A divorce settlement functions much like a binding contract. Like other types of contracts, it is possible to amend the document if circumstances change that warrant an update – but it is not lawful to unilaterally stop fulfilling your obligations without going back to court.

The attorneys at our Des Moines-based law practice, Babich Sarcone, can help you with asking for post-decree modifications to your divorce orders. We can also help you enforce your divorce orders with a contempt action if your ex is not living up to their side of the agreement.

Requesting A Post-Decree Modification

To receive a modification to your divorce decree, you must demonstrate that such a change is in the best interests of you and your children. Judges frequently will alter the terms of a decree if the following can be proven:

  • You were injured in accident or have a serious illness and have substantial medical needs
  • You lost your job, and your income has been diminished
  • Your work schedule has changed substantially, and the change is permanent
  • You are being deployed overseas for a military assignment
  • You are moving a long distance from where your child’s co-parent lives

One of our attorneys can help you with the court filings and appearances necessary to request a modification.

Decree Enforcement And Contempt

You can also request that the terms of your divorce decree be enforced if your ex is, for example, not making child support payments on time, or skipping out on scheduled parenting time obligations. Our divorce lawyer will help you gather the necessary documentation to show evidence of their willful misconduct and its impact on your or your child’s life.

Contempt actions can have significant consequences, including up to 30 days of jail time per act of contempt and the posting of bond payments to ensure timely payment of obligations. If you have received a contempt action from your former spouse, we can also help you. We will work with the court to minimize the financial and legal consequences of the action, while helping you get back on track with your divorce-related obligations.

Adapt Your Divorce Decree To Today’s Needs

Learn more about how divorce decrees work and how to get a modification or enforce the current terms of your decree. Call our Des Moines office at 515-817-1870 today to speak with a qualified Iowa family law attorney. You can also email us using our online intake form.