How to Enforce a Property Division Order

As a part of your divorce decree, courts will issue an order outlining how your marital property will be divided. There will also be information about how you can enforce that order, should your ex-spouse not cooperate with the terms of the decree.

There are a variety of ways in which you may be able to seek enforcement of the property division order. The most common of these are contempt proceedings and injunctions.

Contempt is a legal term referring to someone disobeying a lawful court order. In this case, it refers to an ex-spouse refusing to comply by the terms of your property division order. You have the right then to file an “action for contempt,” in which you petition the court to hold your ex-spouse in contempt of court. Penalties for contempt include short jail periods, fines or both.

Contempt typically is only an option for enforcing property division orders involving one spouse transferring or conveying property to the other. Orders in which each spouse transfers property or money typically are not eligible for filing for contempt.

An injunction is a specific type of court order that tells someone that they must either perform or refrain from a certain act. For example: if one spouse is in charge of caring for the real property owned by the couple until it is sold but is neglectful in caring for the property, the other spouse can file an injunction with the court to put an end to the neglect of that property. Failure to abide by an injunction could lead to that spouse being considered in contempt of court.

If you would like to learn more about your options in terms of enforcing a property division order, contact a skilled divorce lawyer with Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.

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