What If My Ex Doesn't Comply With the Divorce Decree?
15 January 2022IN: Divorce
Just because a divorce settlement has been filed and you are striving to put it all behind you, it doesn’t always mean smooth sailing afterward. Whether you mutually agreed to the terms of the divorce or if they were court-imposed, there are times when one party may no longer want or be able to be bound by its terms. If your ex-spouse is not complying with the divorce decree, you may have the right to pursue its enforcement and hold your ex-spouse accountable for their responsibilities.
In this case, you should get the guidance of an experienced Murfreesboro, TN family law attorney to discuss your legal options and their potential consequences.
What Common Ways Do Spouses Not Comply With a Divorce Decree?
Common situations that are considered not compliant are when
-An ex-spouse is not paying child support or the full amount specified in the final decree. -An ex-spouse is not paying alimony that was set out in the decree. -An ex-spouse is not following the parental visitation schedule. -An ex-spouse has not complied with the division of marital assets or lied about assets.
Regardless of why your ex-spouse is not complying, you have the legal right to enforce the agreement. If the court believes that the non-compliance is willful, it could impose fines, penalties, and even jail time. But the endgame should always be considered and what remedy could best bring that about. This is when getting the legal advice of a Murfreesboro, TN divorce lawyer can be critical.
Your Rights Under the Law
Non-compliance with a divorce decree will need to be handled through the courts. While there may be cases when an ex-spouse has legitimate reasons to be in non-compliance and had a change in their personal circumstances that makes compliance impossible, your divorce decree is still a legal court order, and you and your spouse are both bound by its terms. Any non-compliance, whether justified or not, can be considered contempt of court.
In the case of non-compliance with the terms of a divorce decree, you will need to petition the court, advising them that the terms of your divorce decree were willfully violated. It’s important to note, however, that courts take these enforcements very seriously, and, consequently, legally enforcing a divorce decree can be complicated. Getting the advice of a Murfreesboro divorce attorney can help you understand your rights and options.
What Remedies Can Be Taken if an Ex-Spouse Violates a Divorce Decree?
When a spouse is held in contempt, the court will look to several remedies. Legal remedies often used by the court can include
The garnishment of your ex-spouse’s wages Law enforcement taking possession of funds or property Jail time for the spouse who is in non-compliance
The court will typically look for remedies that will fix the issue, not necessarily punish the offender or make matters worse. Especially when the issue is nonpayment of support or alimony, the court may be reluctant to take away the individual’s means of making a living even though it is available under the law. Consequently, harsh penalties and jail time are not usually the first course of remedy in these situations.
At the Law Office of David L. Scott, our Murfreesboro, TN divorce attorneys look at each situation and advise our clients of options to bring about the best resolution possible considering the circumstances.
When an ex-spouse is not complying with a divorce decree because of a change in their circumstances, there are other available legal options. A post-divorce modification can change the existing divorce decree to enable the non-compliant ex-spouse to become compliant again. This often happens in cases of child support, visitation, or alimony. While divorce decrees are designed to be static, post-divorce modifications can sometimes help in certain situations.
Getting the Right Legal Advice in Murfreesboro
If your ex-spouse hasn’t complied with your divorce decree, you should get legal guidance to understand your options and determine the best solution for you and your family. The skilled Murfreesboro, TN divorce attorneys at the Law Office of David L. Scott are committed to finding the most reasonable solution to obtain the results you need for you and your family’s future. Contact us to schedule a no-cost consultation.