When you get a divorce, you will get a divorce decree. This legal document outlines the terms of our divorce and talks about issues like child support, custody, asset division, and so on. In some cases, one spouse chooses not to follow the terms of the decree. If your spouse does not follow the decree, you could end up experiencing frustrating or even devastating consequences. Here are some things you need to know:
Decrees are Legally Binding
One thing to remember about divorce decrees is they are legally binding documents. Every agreement pertinent to your divorce are within the decree, and you are both required to follow through. Once the decree is entered it court, it becomes a court order. If your spouse does not follow a court order, legal trouble could be ahead.
Examples of Disobedience of a Decree
Dividing property is one example of how your spouse can fail to obey the decree. If you have not yet settled the sale of your home or still need to exchange property and your spouse fails to hold up his or her end of the deal, he or she has violated the divorce decree. You may end up with not as much money from your settlement as you are entitled to.
Child custody is another issue. If your spouse does not allow you access to your children in accordance with your divorce decree, you can take your spouse to court for a court order violation.
If your spouse does not pay you child support or alimony, or if they are late, he or she is in violation of your divorce decree. Either situation can put you in major financial distress and cause serious consequences.
Enforcing a Divorce Decree
If your spouse is in violation of your divorce decree, there is not much you can do without going back to court. You will have to go before the judge and request that the decree be enforced. Prior to court, speak with your lawyer to talk about the different options. A strongly worded letter from your attorney may entice your spouse to follow the order.
If that letter does not work, you will need to gather and provide your evidence showing your spouse is in violation of the divorce decree. Things like emails, voicemails, bank statements, and the like can serve as evidence in this case. When you get to court, the judge will examine the evidence and decide if your spouse is in violation. If so, your spouse can face legal penalties, including contempt of court. Contact a divorce lawyer for more help.