Enforcing a Court Order After a Tennessee Divorce
It comes as no surprise to anyone that divorce is often a long, messy, uncomfortable process. By the time you reach a final divorce decree both you and your ex-spouse are likely relieved, and looking forward to moving forward in your respective lives. However, divorcing spouses should be aware that things do not always go to plan. Even the most fair and detailed divorce decree depends on the participation of the spouses to execute. There could very well be times when the divorce decree is not followed by your ex-spouse. In such times, you might need to call in an attorney or judge.
There are a couple of different reasons someone may not be complying with the terms of a divorce decree. For example, there could be a material or substantial change in circumstances that makes it prohibitive for your ex to follow the terms of the divorce decree. In these circumstances an individual may apply for a post-divorce modification from the court. This may be appropriate, for example, if a person who is ordered to pay alimony ends up losing their job.
While there may be some legitimate reasons a divorce decree is not being followed, and needs to be modified, simple issues of willful non-compliance are a different story. If your ex is beating around the bush and failing to actually pay child support, is not showing up for scheduled parenting time with your kids, is failing to make alimony payments, or failing to return your children timely when their parenting time is through, you have legitimate issues that could warrant taking concrete legal action. The above are just a sampling of the kinds of issues that could indicate that it is time to engage with an attorney and discuss what options you might have in regard to enforcing your divorce decree. You can also work with an attorney to pursue a contempt of court order If your spouse continues to violate your divorce decree.
Typical court order enforcement issues
After a post-divorce decree is issued, it is common for ex-spouses to continue to have disagreements as non-compliance issues arise. Some common grievances include:
- Non-compliance with a child-support order
- Non-compliance with visitation terms and agreed upon flexibility
- Refusal to surrender marital assets and properties that were granted to the other party as part of the divorce decree.
Regardless of whether there is a reasonable explanation for the non-compliance, you deserve to have your court order recognized. As you try to move forward with your life you deserve the certainty and stability that this decree is meant to provide. If the order needs to be modified due to real life and changes in circumstances then pursuing those changes through the court is the best way to ensure that you have an agreement and guidelines that you can depend on as you move forward in life.
Divorce decrees are official court orders. This means that violating the terms of the order can come with serious penalties. Willfully violating the terms of the order can result in fines and even jail time. If your spouse is failing to support you and/or your children as agreed then you can file for contempt of court, and take other actions to recover support funds that you are entitled to. Depending on the situation, contempt of court proceedings could be a civil or criminal action.
Fort, Holloway and Rogers
If you or a loved one are struggling post-divorce with an ex-spouse who will not honor the divorce decree, contact the esteemed Franklin divorce enforcement attorneys at Fort, Holloway, and Rogers. Our expert team can help guide you through to the best possible outcome in your case.