Enforcing a Court Order after a Divorce Is Finalized

Sometimes even after the divorce has been finalized, the fight to have a spouse follow court orders can leave people dealing with a divorce for a long time. Unfortunately, it is easier to seek enforcement of some court orders on divorce issues than others.

When a couple goes through a divorce, the court handles matters related to the splitting of the couple’s assets and debts, as well as child custody and child support. The court enters its findings and rulings in a court order that is supposed to be binding on the spouses once the divorce is finalized. This means that the spouses are expected to follow the court’s ruling, and if they fail to do so, they can be held in contempt of court.

Before a person can be held in contempt for not following a court order stemming from a divorce, the spouse seeking to enforce the court order has to file a petition. The petition is usually filed with the court that issued the divorce judgment and allows the court to have jurisdiction to hear the case. A hearing may have to be held on the issue of contempt.

If the violation relates to a child support order, the parent who is supposed to receive the child support may have the court produce an issue order to have the wages of the nonpaying parent garnished in order to pay the ordered child support. The court can also order that parent’s driver’s license and professional license suspended, or have the parent’s passport taken away until the parent complies with the court’s orders.

Enforcing an order for one spouse to pay a marital debt can be slightly more complicated. While a person can file a petition to force a former spouse to pay a debt, the spouse may file for bankruptcy in order to avoid paying the debt and therefore not be scared by the prospect of being held in contempt. The creditor of a joint debt can go after either spouse, even if a divorce decree orders one spouse to pay the debt. Because of this, some people choose to pay the debt if they are financially able to in order to avoid their credit being damaged. They can then seek to have the order enforced by asking the court to require their former spouses to pay them back.

Contact an Experienced Enforcement Attorney

If you recently went through a divorce and a court ordered your former spouse to pay child support or spousal support, or to handle some of the marital debts, but your former spouse has not complied with those orders, you may need to get the court’s help in enforcing those orders. For assistance in filing a petition to enforce the court’s orders, contact the passionate Naperville child support collection and enforcement attorneys at the Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC for help today.


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