My Ex Isn’t Following the Divorce Decree: What Are My Options?
Following a divorce, each ex-spouse has a reasonable expectation that the other will honor the conditions of the divorce decree. But sometimes, one party fails to meet the requirements of the decree.
If your ex-spouse does not follow the terms of the divorce decree, you have options. One of the most powerful options is to pursue enforcement through the courts.
Below, we will examine the steps to take if your ex-spouse fails to follow the terms of the divorce decree.
Understanding Divorce Decrees
After a divorce has been finalized, the court will issue a “divorce decree.” This decree is a document detailing the reasons for the divorce. It also specifies the responsibilities of each former spouse. When a divorce has been finalized, the overseeing judge will sign the decree. This makes the arrangement binding.
In some cases, an ex-spouse chooses not to comply with the terms of the decree. They may violate terms relating to:
- Child custody
- Alimony payments
- Division of marital property
- Child support requirements
- And more
When one party does not adhere to the divorce decree, the other person can take action to ensure that the agreement is upheld.
Before taking legal action against your ex-spouse, it is crucial to ensure that you are meeting all of your own requirements. Once you have done so, take the following steps:
Carefully review the divorce decree. Determine the specific provisions that your ex-spouse is violating.
Are they failing to pay child support on time? Are they ignoring spousal maintenance payment requirements? Have they violated the child custody order?
In some cases, ex-spouses do not adhere to property division requirements. For example, they might fail to transfer assets awarded to you by the judge.
Gather documentation of these violations. This can include financial records or written communication between you and your ex-spouse.
You will need confirming evidence that the other party has failed to live up to the terms of the decree. In divorce decree violation cases, the burden of proof is on the party that files the motion for court enforcement. The more evidence you can collect, the stronger your case will be.
File a Contempt of Court Motion
Once you have gathered evidence, you can file a motion for contempt of court. It is helpful to speak with the court clerk to determine the specific documentation that you must file.
If you do not want to file independently, a trusted family law attorney can help. When you file the motion, you will formally indicate the portions of the decree that your ex-spouse has failed to uphold.
The accused party will have an opportunity to respond, and a hearing may follow. If the violating party is found guilty, they will face legal consequences until they resolve the issue. In some cases, jail time is a possible consequence of contempt of court.
Contact the Premier Legal Team at Gucciardo Family Law
If you believe that your ex-spouse has violated your divorce decree, do not wait. Contact the skilled attorneys at Gucciardo Family Law to discuss the facts of your case.
Our trustworthy family lawyers will help you determine the best path forward. Reach out to Gucciardo Family Law to schedule a no-cost legal consultation today.
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