Post-divorce issues

Post-divorce issues, sale of the family home

All’s well that ends well?

Probably not. Life goes on. It does not stand still. Circumstances can change. New uncertainties can arise, as the pandemic has taught us. Divorce matters are only rarely concluded with a final divorce decree, especially if children are involved.

Parenting – change in circumstances

Custody and child support are not strictly set in stone. Life continues and the situation may change. For sure, divorced parents remain partners, at least until the minor reaches adulthood.

At the time of divorce, the parents agree on a specific schedule for the children to spend time with each of them. But some years later, one of the parents remarries and moves abroad. The circumstances have tremendously changed. The original schedule is no longer practical or in the best interest of the children. Therefore, a change in the parenting schedule is essential.

In another scenario, a parent agrees to pay a specified amount as child support. However, a sudden change in income or employment renders it infeasible to continue that support. This entails an amendment of child support.

Not every minor change entitles the parent to an adjustment. Only in the event of a significant, permanent, unforeseeable and unintentional change in financial or life circumstances, parents may need to revisit and revise their original agreements or court order with the assistance of the competent authority.

Changing spousal support

You are required to pay the current amount until the court rules otherwise. A change in circumstances may allow you to ask a judge to reduce, terminate or stop your alimony obligations temporarily. However, the threshold needed for a modification of matrimonial support is high. It is up to you to establish that the change of circumstances is substantial, significant, unforeseen and permanent.

Seek advice as soon as you encounter a hardship, such as disability or involuntary unemployment, that jeopardizes your financial ability to pay.

Termination of alimony

Alimony is intended to provide financial support to the lower-earning spouse during and after divorce to enable him or her to become financially self-sufficient and to maintain a certain standard of living. However, situations causing one spouse to request termination of alimony payments may arise.

Voluntary termination

The easiest way out for the former couple is to agree in writing to voluntarily terminate spousal maintenance at any time after the divorce.

Remarriage and death

Remarriage of the spouse receiving alimony ends spousal support payments as the new spouse will now be able to provide such financial support. Additionally, spousal maintenance generally ends with the death of either former spouse.


If the spouse receiving alimony moves in with another person, this does not automatically terminate alimony. Only a stable marriage-like cohabitation can be a reason to terminate or suspend spousal support.

Non-compliance – enforcement

What if your ex-spouse is consistently late paying child support or spousal support, or skips entire months? Or maybe the ex-partner has even ceased paying at all. Is that acceptable? Certainly not. Do not surrender if the obligations are not met. If the terms of the court order are not fulfilled, seek enforcement.

Contracts and court decisions must be honored. You and your former spouse are both responsible for complying with a court order. If you are ordered to pay child and spousal support, do it on time.

As life is rarely at a standstill, an original agreement may be revised. Child support and child custody may be modified if circumstances have changed significantly. I can also assist you, if you are paying alimony and have grounds to believe that your former spouse is no longer eligible due to remarriage, cohabitation or any other reason. Call my office to schedule a consultation today so that you can make informed decisions that are in your family’s best interest.