Steps to Take if Ex Doesn't Comply with Divorce Decree
A divorce decree is a lawful court order that must be fully complied with by both parties. If your ex-spouse does not fully comply with the obligations as stated in the decree, then you have the option to take legal action to make sure he or she is brought to compliance with the divorce decree. You do so by taking the following steps and consulting with a Fort Worth divorce attorney about your case.
1. Establish Violations
Make sure your ex-spouse has not filed papers with the court to modify the divorce decree. An ex-spouse is allowed to ask a judge to modify the decree and he or she has filed the request, then a judge must rule on that request. However, they are still required to comply with the order until their modification is granted (if it is). The law requires that you are given a copy of the request to modify the decree so, if you have not been given one, check with the Family Court clerk’s office to make sure.
2. Review the Divorce Decree
Make sure what you believe is not being fulfilled by the ex-spouse is covered in the divorce decree. You should review the divorce judgment to determine if this is the case. Some violations of a decree typically include late payment of child support, refusal of visitation, or nonpayment of spousal maintenance. It may also be the case your ex-spouse has failed to comply with property distribution, such as not transferring a title.
3. Collect Evidence
It is critical for the success of your case to gather and provide documents that show how or why your ex-spouse has violated the divorce decree. A good example of such evidence would be written communications, such as emails or texts, and financial records. The burden of proving the case is on you, so you must be prepared to make your case, and a large part of that will be gathering documents you provide that back your case.
4. File Your Case
Courts only handle requests that have been filed under their own rules. A request to have your ex-spouse brought to answer for their noncompliance is often filed as a “motion for contempt of court.” This is because even though the ex-spouse has violated the decree terms which affect you, it is the court order they ignored that subjects them to punishment by the court, besides being forced to comply with the order. Once you have filed your case in compliance with the court rules, your ex-spouse will be given an opportunity to comply or respond, and if they respond, a judge will set a hearing for your case.
Call a Fort Worth Divorce Lawyer Right Away
Enforcing your divorce decree is essential to protect your rights and what you rightfully deserve financially or regarding your children following a divorce. Fort Worth divorce attorney Kyle Whitaker handles all aspects of divorce cases, including post-decree enforcement. Contact our office today to schedule a meeting with our legal team.