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Post-Divorce Enforcement and Contempt of Court

Get an experienced attorney on your side

While a divorce is never easy, it becomes vastly more difficult when one spouse refuses to comply with the terms, particularly when children are involved. If your former spouse is failing to follow the rules and stipulations of your judgment of divorce, you do have legal recourse - but enforcement means going back to family court.

You don't have to do that alone. Springfield divorce attorney Brittany J. Smith and her team have extensive experience handling post-divorce enforcement cases throughout Massachusetts. Let the Law Office of Brittany J. Smith help you move forward with your life again.

Examples of non-compliance with divorce terms

Each divorce has separate stipulations, and every one of them is legally enforceable. Some of the most common reasons why you may need to seek post-divorce enforcement include:

  • Refusal to pay child support
  • Non-compliance with visitation schedule (parenting time)
  • Refusal to pay spousal support (alimony)
  • Failure to follow through on sales or refinancing of an asset as established in your property division order
  • Failure to pay debts as ordered

It can be exceptionally frustrating if your former spouse/partner is failing to live up to his or her end of the deal. You could be facing financial trouble or even be in danger of losing your job due to issues with transportation or childcare. If your children are caught in the middle, their lives could be adversely affected, too. You need to take action right away, but you need to go about it in an appropriate way.

What to do - and not to do - if your spouse won't comply

The first thing to keep in mind is that no matter what, you cannot violate the terms of your divorce in retaliation. For example, if your former spouse is refusing to pay child support, you may think it's only fair to take away his or her parenting time until the child support is paid, but that's not how it works. If you don't stick to the parenting schedule, you may be in violation of the divorce decree, which will only make your situation worse.

Your job is to stick to the terms of the divorce on your end, even if your former spouse is not, and file a motion to hold your ex-spouse in contempt of court. Disobeying a divorce order is illegal, and you can ask a judge to intervene and order the appropriate consequences.

Get an attorney on your side

By definition, issues involving post-divorce enforcement are contentious and adversarial. That's why it's so important to talk to an experienced attorney right away. Your lawyer can help you file the motion for contempt of court and work to hold your former spouse responsible as soon as possible, as well as seek reimbursement for any financial losses you have taken as a result of his or her noncompliance.

The Law Office of Brittany J. Smith has a long history of success resolving contempt of court motions and other enforcement actions. If your former spouse isn't complying with the terms of your divorce, you have recourse, and attorney Brittany J. Smith can help. Contact us online or call (413) 781-7170 today.