My Spouse is Disobeying Direct Court Orders — Now What?
Most of the time, you can trust that if a court hands down direct orders to your spouse on a divorce-related issue, that spouse will comply. However, there are plenty of circumstances in which divorcing spouses will either violate court orders or fail to obey them entirely. What do you do if this becomes an issue in your case?
If you let your spouse get away with violating a court order once, there’s nothing stopping them from trying to do it again and again. Therefore, if your spouse violates an order, it’s important to address it immediately. Contact your attorney as soon as you can and have him or her send a letter to your spouse (or your spouse’s attorney) to resolve the issue right away.
Additional steps may be necessary
If the letter route doesn’t work, you are going to have to go to the court to have the order enforced. Your attorney will file a document called a “motion to enforce a court order,” which serves as a written request for the court to intervene in the case. At this point, the judge could proceed in any of several ways:
- Demanding your spouse follow the order immediately
- Requiring your spouse to completely fulfill their obligations on overdue payments
- Holding your spouse in contempt of court for a failure to meet the obligations of the original court order, which could result in fines or jailing (depending on the circumstances)
- Ordering your spouse to pay you back for any attorney’s fees and other costs you incurred due to bringing the motion
There are some situations in which urgent matters might require immediate court attention, but in most cases, this is how you can expect matters to proceed if you’re dealing with an uncooperative individual.
For further guidance on this difficult issue, consult an experienced divorce lawyer with Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.