“Post-decree motions” are filed when parties that have had their marriage dissolved, are divorced, or legally separated, engage in post-decree litigation which basically means a couple is fighting about issues after the Judgment Entry has been issued, and they are headed back to Court to resolve the issues.
Often, one party alleges that the other party has violated the terms of the Court order. A common example of a post-decree motion in a divorce action is when a party alleges that the other party is behind in the payment of child and/or spousal support, or when one party is not complying with the terms of the custody order as it relates to parenting time. The parties can try to work out their issues on their own but if that fails, the aggrieved spouse may have to file a Motion to Show Cause that requests the Court to enforce the Judgment Entry and punish the offending former spouse.
Disputes over child related issues, such as custody, visitation, support and health care decision making authority, are major sources of post-decree ligation. In all cases involving minor children, the court that issued the original order retains jurisdiction (power) to hear future child related matters. This is referred to as the continuing jurisdiction of the Court.
Most post-decree litigation involve disputes over the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities. When these disputes occur among the parents, a parent may request that the court modify school placement of the child, the parenting schedule, medical decision-making authority, or any other term of the custody order. Generally speaking, in order for a parent to modify the terms of the custody order, the parent seeking the modification will need to demonstrate to the Court that a “substantial change of circumstances” has occurred and the proposed modification is in the “best interest” of the minor child.