Modification & Enforcement

After an Order is entered by the Court, the parties may find that they need the Order modified or enforced. Whether an order is modifiable or enforceable is determined by the specific facts and language of the Order.



At the time that an Order or Judgment is entered, that Order or Judgment was based upon the facts and circumstances of the parties and/or child(ren) at that point in time. As time passes, changes can occur which may necessitate a modification of the Order or Judgment. Whether the changes are sufficient to warrant a modification of the Order or Judgment is dependent upon many variables and the current circumstances of the parties.

The most common change that is experienced is a change in the financial condition of the parties. When the recipient of support has an increase in income, the party paying the support may seek to have their obligation decreased. Likewise, when the party paying support has an increase in their income, the recipient may request an increase in support.

Another common change relates to custody. Often, parties feel that it would be best for the child(ren) to have a change in the custody arrangement that was originally ordered. For the Court to modify the original (or subsequent) Order or Judgment, the requesting party must prove that there have been substantial and material changes in the circumstances and that the modification is in the child(ren)’s best interest. (See Child Custody.)



There may come a time, after the entry of your Order or Judgment, that a party fails to comply with the same. When non-compliance occurs, the party who is seeking compliance may request relief from the Court. The type of relief that a person may obtain from the Court varies greatly depending on the type of non-compliance that is occurring.

One of the most common enforcement issues surrounds support. When a party fails to pay support, that party can be found in contempt, have their license suspended, and be ordered to jail, among other sanctions. Because the consequences for failing to pay support are so serious, it is important to have an attorney assist you to protect your freedom and, sometimes, livelihood. Likewise, as support is vital to ensuring that former spouses and/or child(ren) are properly cared for, it is important that the recipient of support have an attorney who is knowledgeable in the relief that can be requested from the Court to ensure compliance with its Order or Judgment.

Another common enforcement issue surrounds custody. From time to time a party may fail to comply with a custody order. When this occurs, the party who is denied contact or time-sharing with the child(ren) may seek to have the prior Order or Judgment enforced, make-up contact or time-sharing provided, and many other remedies. As they should, the Courts take a parent’s interference with the relationship between the child(ren) and other parent very seriously. As a result, it is important that if you are the non-compliant party that you seek legal advice as to your potential defenses. It is equally as important that the party who is being refused their contact or time-sharing with the child(ren) seek legal advice to ensure that all possible remedies are sought and, hopefully, achieved.

If you feel that your Order or Judgment needs to be modified or that it should be enforced, it is important to speak with an experienced family law attorney. Mrs. Darley understands the intricacies of modifications and would be happy to discuss your issues with you. If you would like to discuss your modification or enforcement action, Mrs. Darley will be happy to discuss the same with you.