What Happens if Your Ex Doesn’t Follow the Divorce Decree?
Divorce can be a complicated process. Once the decree is issued, it is your ex-spouse’s responsibility to adhere to the terms of the agreement. However, sometimes this doesn’t happen. If your ex-spouse doesn’t follow the divorce decree, you may find yourself in a tricky situation. In this blog post, we’ll look at what you can do if your ex-spouse fails to comply with the terms of the divorce decree.
What Is a Divorce Decree?
A divorce decree is a court order that outlines the court’s decisions during a divorce proceeding. It is an agreement between the two spouses and a legal document that binds them both to follow specific terms and conditions. The divorce decree will include essential decisions regarding child custody, child support, alimony, division of assets and debts, and other issues determined by the court. It can also contain orders both spouses must follow for the divorce to be finalized.
Actions to Take When Your Ex Does Not Comply With the Divorce Decree
Because divorce decrees are legally binding contracts, if your ex does not comply with the terms, there are steps you can take to enforce the decree. In order to enforce a divorce decree, you must show that your ex had knowledge of the provisions in the decree and willfully disobeyed them. If your ex fails to follow the decree, try communicating with them directly to see if they will comply voluntarily. This is often the best course of action because it is less expensive and time-consuming. However, if your ex does not respond positively to your attempts at communication, you may need to take legal action.
If direct communication does not work, you can file a contempt of court motion, which asks the court to order your ex to comply with the decree. The court will review the evidence you present, and if it finds that your ex is not in compliance, it can order them to comply or be held in contempt.
In certain situations, either party can seek modifications to the existing divorce decree if they can prove that circumstances are substantially different than when the court entered the original decree. A knowledgeable Georgia divorce attorney can help you determine whether filing a modification is appropriate and can represent you in court if necessary.
What Is Contempt?
Contempt is a legal action the court can take when one person does not follow the terms of the court’s order. It is commonly used in family law cases when a divorce or custody decree is violated. Contempt allows the court to impose consequences for non-compliance with the divorce decree. When it comes to contempt, there are two types: civil and criminal.
Civil contempt occurs when one party fails to comply with an order of the court. This can include failure to pay child or spousal support, failure to comply with a visitation schedule, or other orders. The purpose of civil contempt is remedial in nature and should make the other party comply with the court’s order.
Criminal contempt involves a willful violation of a court order. This includes violating an order of protection or other types of court orders. The purpose of criminal contempt is punitive – to punish the wrongdoer for their defiance of the court’s order.
Contempt proceedings are initiated by a motion from the aggrieved party, usually through their attorney. The moving party will explain how the other party has failed to comply with the order and what action they are asking the court to take to rectify the situation. The judge will then decide whether or not the facts support a finding of contempt. If the judge finds that the other party is in contempt, they may impose sanctions, including jail time, fines, or other forms of punishment.
How Can a Georgia Divorce Attorney Help?
If your ex refuses to comply with the terms of your divorce decree, it is crucial to speak with an experienced Georgia divorce attorney. An Atlanta divorce lawyer can help you understand your rights, guide you through the legal process, and advise on the best course of action to ensure that your ex follows the order issued by the court.
Speak With an Atlanta Divorce Attorney Today
The experienced Atlanta divorce attorneys at Kessler & Solomiany, LLC are committed to providing individualized and compassionate representation for all our clients. We have decades of experience handling divorce cases and will work diligently to protect your legal rights and interests. Contact us today at (404) 688-8810 to discuss your case and get the help you need.