Protecting Your Most Valuable Asset

Post-Judgement Enforcement of Court Orders

Enforcement of Court Orders

Do you have a standing divorce order, a child support order, or a child custody order? Has your former spouse or partner failed to comply with provisions of that order? You may be entitled to an Order of Enforcement.

What is an Enforcement Action?

What is enforcement? It is the act of filing a petition asking a court to make someone follow an order. Courts in New Jersey have broad discretion when it comes to enforcement actions. The most significant power is the ability to hold a person in contempt. A contempt order can include significant penalties, such as:

  • Monetary sanctions and fines authorized by law or specified in the order that was violated.
  • An order that the offending party pay the attorneys fees of the harmed party, as well as repaying any costs that the harmed party incurred attempting to seek compliance with the order.
  • The ability to imprison an offending party for up to six months. This is the ultimate contempt power. Of course, imprisoning someone is a last resort and is more often used as a threat to scare someone into complying.

Enforcement actions can be taken on any almost standing court order. For our purposes, this includes:

  • An enforcement action on a child support order.
  • An enforcement action on a divorce order, such as a failure to make ordered alimony payments.
  • An enforcement action on a parenting plan or custody order.

If someone is failing to comply with a court order and either you or your children are being deprived as a result, I would recommend contacting an attorney. An attorney can review your options with you, which may include simply contacting the offending party or sending a demand letter. In some circumstances, contact from an attorney and the threat of further legal action is enough to compel a person to resume complying with orders. In addition, if the offending party still refuses to comply, an attorney can file a petition and bring the matter before the court for contempt proceedings.