How to Avoid Heading Back to Court After Your Divorce

It’s common to want to get the divorce process over with as quickly as possible, much like root canal.

Understandably, you might simply want to move on, especially if you have already cut ties emotionally, and you might feel the need for immediate “closure.”  Rest assured, however, that there is no “closure” simply because you have that Judgment of Divorce.  Issues that were not adequately addressed or resolved in your divorce agreement can linger on for years, leading to you or your spouse filing post judgment motions with the court.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to take advantage of the time while your divorce is pending to plan for what you want your life to look like after the divorce.  Specifically, examine your needs, interests, and goals for the future. Then use this time to take advantage of the resources available to you.

For instance, take the time now to develop an effective co-parenting plan instead of heading back into court after the divorce to address custody and parenting time of your children.  This would most certainly benefit your children and avoid having them experience their parents in court for years to come.

Another example is to have a financial professional evaluate your net cash flow to see if you can afford to both keep the marital home and save for retirement.   Also, taking the time now to properly value a business could “expand the pie” for each of you to share.

Another way to stay out of court after your divorce is to plan for changes down the road and use self-executing provisions in your divorce agreement to address them.  For instance, suppose you and your spouse decided to co-own the home for now, perhaps because your home is now worth less than you owe on your mortgage.  To avoid your spouse filing a motion to list the home for sale, have your attorney include a provision now that the home will be sold at a certain point in time, for instance when your youngest child graduates high school in four years.  For greater specificity, include that the home will be listed for sale in the spring of your child’s senior year in high school with the closing not to occur before he graduates in June.  This way, both you and your spouse are on the same page in terms of what will happen and neither one of you needs to file a motion with the court to get things moving.

Taking the time now to plan for your future and address it in your divorce agreement can keep you out of court later.

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