Modifications & Enforcement

Modification and Enforcement of Existing Divorce Decrees

No matter how careful you are when negotiating an original divorce decree, there is a good chance it will require modification at some point in the future. Circumstances change — and Washington state's divorce laws are structured to accommodate the changing needs of divorced families. Modifications of child custody agreements, child support payments and spousal support payments are not only possible — they are relatively common.

Enforcement actions — when one party does not comply with the terms of a divorce decree — are also common.

In either case, efficient help from a knowledgeable family law attorney can help make the modification or enforcement process as smooth as possible.

Located north of Everett, in Marysville, Washington, the St. Clair Law Office is a family law firm that offers cost-sensitive representation from an attorney with nearly 32 years of legal experience. Contact us at 866-690-0798 or 360-654-4925 to schedule an initial appointment.

Modification of a Divorce Decree

Requests for divorce decree modifications are most common for child custody and child support obligations. Modification of child custody arrangements or parenting plans is possible if the parties' circumstances have changed such that a custody modification is in the child's best interests. The circumstance that most often gives rise to a child custody modification request is the relocation of the parent with primary custody. If the parent plans to move a significant distance, he or she must first notify the court and the other parent in writing. The other parent then has the opportunity to object to the relocation request.

Child support modifications — sometimes called a motion for adjustment — are possible every two years, or more frequently in the event that one or the other parent experiences a significant change in financial circumstances.

Enforcement of Divorce Decrees ∙ Actions for Contempt of Court

Our law office helps clients who need to bring enforcement actions against ex-spouses, and we are also available to defend clients against actions for enforcement. An enforcement action is possible if the other spouse fails to comply with any provision of the divorce decree — for example, if a parent owes back child support or prevents the other parent from exercising visitation rights.

Enforcement actions can carry serious consequences. A parent may lose custody of a child for repeated and groundless restriction of the other parent's visitation rights, for example. In cases of nonpayment of child support, the nonpaying parent runs the risk of losing his or her driver's license or business license.

Get Early Legal Advice on Modifications and Enforcement Actions

Make an appointment for a confidential initial meeting with a lawyer at the St. Clair Law Office. Call 866-690-0798 or 360-654-4925, or send us an e-mail.