Family cases, unlike most other cases that are heard in Maine courts, present the unique opportunity for re-occurring “post-judgment” issues. “Post-judgment” refers to issues that are presented to a court after it has finally decided all of the issues in the case at a final hearing or by agreement of the parties. In most civil and criminal cases, the court will rarely ever revisit a judgment without a very compelling reason. In family law cases, however, the court is regularly asked to revisit its judgments.
Maine courts revisit family law judgments for the simple reason that parties’ lives change after judgments and the continued enforcement of a judgment may no longer be fair or reasonable given these changed life circumstances. Examples of changed life circumstances include a new job that results in more or less income or one party moving to a different part of the state or a new state entirely. These kinds of cases typically require a party to file what is known as a “Motion to Modify.” Courts also will hear post-judgment cases when one party is failing to comply with the terms of a judgment. Examples of these cases include when a party is not complying with the visitation terms of a judgment or when a party is not complying with the terms of a divorce judgment concerning allocation of debt or property (e.g., paying off martial debts or removing one party’s name from a mortgage). These kinds of cases typically require a party to file what are known as a “Motion to Enforce” and/or “Motion for Contempt.”
The possible bases for post-judgment relief will vary depending on the facts of your case. Here at McKee Law, we understand that the terms of your family law judgment, which may have been written years ago, have a huge impact on your life today. We will thoughtfully analyze the specific facts of your case and explore any and all available post-judgment options.