Divorce decrees, or judgments, are put in place by the court and must be abided by like any other court matter. If one spouse is not abiding by the order, the other spouse can take action and take steps to enforce the order. Some of the most common ways to violate the decree include matters with debts, family home, property, and more. We will look at these different ways so you understand what is a violation and what isn’t, so you can move on toward enforcement.
Violations and What You Can do
Failure to Pay Debts: If your spouse is obligated to pay off certain debts but fails to do so, you could file a motion for contempt. This is a proceeding where your spouse has failed to comply with court orders and the judge will sometimes give a second chance for an opportunity to repay the debts. If they still fail to pay off the debts, sometimes it could lead to jail time.
If your spouse is sitting in prison and they still won’t budge to pay off the debts, the court will seize the ex-spouse’s property. A writ of attachment allows property owned by the party to be seized.
Failure to List Family Home: If a spouse fails to list the family home even though they were ordered to do so, a contempt proceeding will occur and the judge may appoint an agent to list, sell, and distribute proceeds as necessary.
Division of Retirement Accounts: Divorce decrees also help divide accounts like retirement programs. If the party did not share their 401k or retirement, a contempt proceeding may take place as well. However, sometimes the proceeds have been spent by the time the action takes place, and by then it is too late. This is why couples should sit down and place a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) as a way to avoid these issues and make sure that things are distributed properly at the time of divorce.
There are some ways to prevent you from missing out on benefits that are rightfully yours after divorce. However, if you are in the midst of divorce and running into these problems, it may be time to speak with an attorney. Give us a call today to find out how we can help.