When your divorce is finally through, you will receive a document called the divorce decree. This document should contain all the agreements of the divorce and is considered a legally binding contract. It is designed to protect each spouse and to state each spouse's obligations, rights, and responsibilities. The downside to this agreement is that there are times when one spouse doesn't abide by what it says. Here are three ways you can enforce the terms of this agreement if your ex-spouse isn't following it.
Make Sure The Decree Is Accurate
Before your ex has a chance to default on the terms of the agreement, it is your job, duty, and responsibility to read over the divorce decree thoroughly to make sure it is correct. If it is not correct, you will have no way of enforcing something that isn't included on the document.
For example, if your spouse received the house in the divorce, he or she may have three months to refinance it to remove your name from the loan. If this was part of the agreement but is not found anywhere on the divorce decree, you should contact your divorce attorney.
While it is not possible to change the divorce decree once the court issues it, you can make amendments to modify it. In this example, you should have an amendment added immediately to make sure it states the duty your spouse has in terms of removing your name from the mortgage loan.
File A Motion Of Contempt
When a court issues a ruling, such as a divorce decree, it must be followed. Anytime a person fails to follow a ruling of the court, the person could be held in contempt of court. This means that the person has not obeyed the court, and he or she could get in legal trouble because of this.
To enforce something on your divorce decree that your ex has not followed, you may need to file a motion of contempt. This is something you can do with or without an attorney; however, it is always better to have an attorney representing you. The divorce attorney that handled your divorce is the best person to choose, because he or she is familiar with your case.
When this is filed with the court, you and your ex must appear at a court hearing. Your ex will have a chance to explain his or her side to the court, and the judge is likely to give him or her one more chance to make it right. The judge is also likely to give your ex a time frame in which it must be taken care of. This is considered a warning to your ex and offers him or her a second chance, but if your ex fails to do what the decree says within this time period, the judge is not likely to be as lenient in the future.
File An Additional Contempt Motion
If your spouse has not done what he or she should have by the date the judge gave, you can file another contempt motion. When this happens, you will both again have to appear in court, but the outcome might be much different. In this case, the judge could do a number of different things, but the consequence will depend on what the issue relates to.
For example, if the issue is over money, the judge could garnish your ex-spouse's wages as a way of forcing him or her to pay. If the issue is over child custody, the judge might give you more time with the kids.
If you are having problems with your ex, contact a divorce attorney today by visiting a firm online, such as http://www.glfamilylaw.com. There are steps you can take to get what you are entitled to, and your divorce attorney can help you through the process.