If your co-parent or a former spouse is not adhering to the terms of an order issued by the court, or agreement following a divorce, it can be stressful and frustrating! However, there are steps you can take to enforce these orders and protect your rights. Here’s a guide to navigating this situation:
Start by keeping a detailed record of each instance of non-compliance. This can include missed child support payments, violations of visitation agreements, or failure to transfer property as stipulated in the divorce decree. Documentation might involve bank statements, emails, text messages, or any other relevant evidence.
Communicate the Issue
Sometimes, misunderstandings or temporary circumstances may lead to non-compliance. Reach out to the other party (ideally in a way that leaves a paper trail), and express your concerns before taking legal action.
Consult Your Attorney
If the other party continues to ignore the court order despite your attempts at communication, consult your attorney. They can advise you on the best course of action based on the specifics of your situation and local laws.
File a Motion to Enforce
If the non-compliance continues, you may need to return to court. Your attorney can help you file a motion to enforce the existing court order. This motion should detail the instances of non-compliance and ask the court to enforce the original agreement.
Attend a Hearing
After filing the motion, a hearing will likely be scheduled. You and your attorney will attend this hearing to present your evidence of non-compliance. The other party will also have a chance to present their side.
If the judge determines that a violation has occurred, they may take several steps to enforce the order. This could include garnishing wages for unpaid child or spousal support, modifying custody arrangements, granting makeup visitation time, or even imposing fines or jail time for contempt of court.
Call a Family Law Attorney for Help
Remember, do not take matters into your own hands by retaliating or withholding agreed obligations because the other party is not complying with the court order. This could potentially harm your case. Instead, use the legal system to enforce the order and protect your rights. Always consult with your attorney or legal professional to understand the best options available for your specific circumstances.
If you or someone you know has a question regarding enforcing a Court Order or an Agreement, contact the Williams Law Group, at (908) 810-1083, today to learn more about how we can assist you.