How To Enforce A Court Order After Divorce
The divorce process is sometimes a long one. Even after a case that was closed relatively quickly, the parties involved typically just want to move on with their new life. At this point, it may seem as though everything is resolved on paper and you can move on fairly easily. Unfortunately, it is not always so easy to do.
People do not always comply with the terms outlined in a divorce decree, making life for their former spouse very difficult. If your former spouse is not complying with a court order, there are steps you can take to enforce it. When doing this, it is always advised that you work with a Franklin family lawyer.
Common Court Order Enforcement Issues
Any time someone does not comply with a court order, the wronged party can take them to court to enforce it. In divorce cases, there are some issues that need court intervention more commonly than others. These include when:
- One party is not paying the required amount of alimony or child support outlined in the decree
- One party is not following the final visitation and child custody schedule
- One party has refused to relinquish certain marital assets granted to the other party in the divorce settlement
There are many reasons spouses violate the terms of a final divorce decree. Sometimes, it is an honest mistake or misunderstanding. In other instances though, it may be something more sinister. Regardless of the reason, you always have the right to enforce the order in court.
There are times when a person is simply unable to comply with a court order. For example, they may have been ordered to pay child support and then lost their job. In these instances, the party that cannot comply with the order can ask the court for a modification. A judge may grant a post-divorce modification that would make compliance easier, but the party seeking the change must show there has been a substantial change in circumstances.
It is critical that even when there has been a substantial change in circumstances, court orders are complied with until a judge authorizes a change. A violation of a court order can result in serious civil and even criminal penalties, including contempt of court.
How Court Orders are Enforced
You may think that if your former spouse is not complying with the original court order, there is no reason to believe they will comply with a second one. After petitioning the court, a judge has many options for enforcing an order. These include:
- Issuing a formal written warning
- Garnishing the non-compliant party’s wages
- Placing a lien on the non-compliant party’s property
- Freezing the non-compliant party’s bank accounts
Our Family Lawyers in Franklin Can Help You Enforce a Court Order
If you have gotten a divorce and your spouse is not complying with a court order, our Franklin family lawyers can help. At Beal, Nations & Crutcher, our skilled attorneys have the necessary experience to petition the court and give you the best chance of a favorable outcome when enforcing an order. Call us today at 615-861-2304 or contact us online to request a consultation.