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What can you do if your ex refuses to follow the divorce decree?

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2024 | Divorce

After a divorce, adhering to the terms of the divorce decree is not just a moral obligation but a legal one. Most people comply, but some choose to disregard court orders.

When this happens, it can prolong the pain of divorce, making it hard to focus on a fresh new future. Guidance on how to move forward and resolve non-compliance can help you move ahead with your new life.

Understanding the decree

A divorce decree outlines the rights and responsibilities of each party post-divorce. Non-compliance can include failure to pay alimony, child support or not adhering to custody arrangements.

If you find yourself in this predicament, here are some steps to take:

  • Ensure a violation occurred by reviewing the decree.
  • Try to resolve the issue by communicating with your spouse.
  • Protect your rights by seeking a legal opinion about your situation.

If reasoning fails, you can file a motion for contempt in the court that issued your divorce decree. The court will then notify your ex-spouse and schedule a hearing.

Possible outcomes

If the court agrees that your ex is violating the terms of your divorce orders, it will select a means of enforcement. Examples include:

  • Setting a compliance deadline for your ex.
  • Ordering your ex to pay fines until they cooperate.
  • In extreme cases, the court can order a jail term for non-compliance.

Enforcing a divorce decree can be painful, stirring up half-buried emotions and creating new ones. But the law is on your side, and mechanisms exist to uphold the terms of your divorce. A divorce representative can guide you through this process and help to ensure no missteps.