Complications arise when one of the spouses decides to back out of an uncontested divorce.
Uncontested divorces often spell the easier way out for couples who want to get divorced. With no major divorce-related issues like division of property, assets, and debts, spousal support or child support and custody, etc. to mull over, uncontested divorces usually come through very smoothly. However, not all divorces have the same outcomes. Complications can arise in cases of uncontested divorce as well, especially if any one of the spouses decides to back out of the uncontested divorce after signing the documents. Here is what can be done in such cases.
Recalling an Uncontested Divorce Filing
The timing of a party backing out of the uncontested divorce that has been filed has to be taken into consideration. Typically, these situations are usually taken care of by recalling the divorce filing. The process may not require a hearing depending on the case and the circumstances under which the recalling has been filed.
While the recalling procedure is usually simple, if a judge has signed the uncontested divorce agreement and passed his judgment, it is final. The recalling procedure also becomes difficult if the period before the finality ordered by the court lapses.
While each case is different and not all recalls have the same outcome, there are certain factors that affect the decision of the court:
- The time period between a recall request and the finality of the uncontested divorce matters.
- The unconscionably of the agreement makes a difference.
- Any new evidence affecting the divorce matters.
Apart from these, a host of other case-specific considerations made by the court affect the recalling decision of a filed uncontested divorce. It is definitely not easy to get any court to set aside a signed filed judgment.
What if One Party Does Not Abide by the Divorce Judgment?
In some cases, the spouse who has had a change of heart with respect to the uncontested divorce, and has requested a recall, might refuse to abide by the judgment of the court and the divorce agreement. In such a case, a contempt proceeding can be filed against the offending party. A contempt proceeding is an appeal to the court to force the offending party to abide by the laws of the divorce agreement.
The court then has the power to:
- Issue fines on the offending party
- Place the offending party in jail, or,
- Make the offending party pay for the attorney fees of the filing party
There are many other methods the court can apply to enforce the laws set by the uncontested divorce and get an offending party to abide by them.
Violations of Custody and Visitation Rights in an Uncontested Divorce
Violating a divorce agreement is definitely not accepted by any court. In cases of violations of custody and visitation rights in an uncontested divorce, the court can:
- Award a compensatory period of visitation, custody or third-party custody as convenient to the aggrieved party.
- Necessitating counseling for the offending party to impress the importance of providing a child with a meaningful relationship with both parents.
- Placing a fine of up to five hundred dollars on the offending party, to be paid to the aggrieved party.
- Requiring the offending party to post bond or security to ensure future compliance with courts orders.
- Making the violating party bear the cost of counseling and to ensure re-build the relationship between the aggrieved parent and the child.
St. Louis Divorce Attorney
Complications in an uncontested divorce can spiral into a series of court proceedings and hearings, notwithstanding the unpleasantness, stress, and tension. The Betz Law Firm can help minimize these issues and help a divorce case run as smoothly as possible.
Call us today for a FREE 30-minute phone consultation at (314) 801-8488. You can also fill out our online contact form.