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What if My Ex-Spouse Will Not Follow the Terms of Our Divorce Decree?

 Posted on May 16, 2022 in Divorce / Family Law

kane county divorce lawyerYou finally finished getting your divorce, and you are ready to move on with your life. The terms of your divorce decree were fair and reasonable. Both you and your spouse are legally bound by these terms. That should be the end of it. However, after a few weeks or months you are starting to realize that your ex-spouse has no intention of obeying the terms of your divorce decree. They do not drop off your children when they are supposed to. They have not turned over property that you won in the divorce. You are not getting the spousal support you are entitled to. In this case, you may need to go back to court to ask the judge to enforce the terms of the divorce decree. It is in your best interest to enlist the help of an experienced divorce and family law attorney. Enforcing a divorce decree against an uncooperative ex-spouse can be an uphill battle - but it can be done.

How Can a Court Enforce a Divorce Decree?

Depending on the situation, it may be worth it to try working it out without judicial involvement. Your attorney may suggest that you start by talking to your ex-spouse, or your attorney may want to try sending a letter before going back to court. However, if this type of solution is not going to work, your lawyer may need to file a petition to enforce the divorce decree. The court may use the following means to enforce the original order: 

  • Ordering backpay - If the issue is that your ex-spouse has not been making child support or spousal support payments, the court could order them to promptly pay you the sum that they owe. Many courts will also order that you be paid back with interest to make up for the time you had to go without the money you were entitled to.

  • Makeup time - If the problem is that your spouse has failed to turn over your children for court-ordered visitation, the judge could order makeup parenting time. For example, if your spouse forced you to miss two weekends with your children, you could get four days of makeup time.

What Are the Consequences for My Ex-Spouse if They Violate the Divorce Order?

In most cases, your spouse will be ordered to pay your court costs and attorneys’ fees when you have to go to court to enforce an existing order. If your spouse persists in disobeying the judge’s orders, they could even be held in contempt and face jail time. Refusing to abide by the terms of a divorce order rarely works out well.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

Loire Krajniak Law, LLC is skilled at enforcing divorce orders when one spouse will not cooperate. Our skilled Geneva divorce attorneys can help you get your spouse to comply as quickly as possible. Call 630-448-2406 for a free consultation.



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