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What Can I File if My Ex Isn't Doing What They Were Ordered to Do in the Divorce Decree?

When going through a divorce, there are legal decrees set by the court that both parties must follow. These decrees provide guidelines and rules for the ex-spouses. Many times, the decrees center around child support, spousal support, property division, and child custody.

Ideally, the divorce decrees are taken seriously and followed as they should be. That’s not always the case, though. Fortunately, these decrees are legally binding, and if your ex-spouse isn’t doing as ordered in the decree, you can do something about it.

The first thing you should do is to take a good look at what your ex is expected to do according to the decree. Identify exactly where they are failing to meet expectations. Once you have clearly identified which points you want to bring to the court’s attention, it’s time to gather the supporting evidence you need to make your case with the court.

Remember, in this instance, it’s not enough to just say something hasn’t happened. Written communications like emails and text messages can help support your case. You may also find voicemails, video, or financial documents helpful to use as evidence. When needed, file reports with the police to fully document your experience.

Once you have the supporting evidence you need, your Morgan County Contempt lawyer can help you file a Rule Nisi Petition or Petition for Contempt of the court. If you aren’t using a lawyer, you can try to file these motions yourself. The court clerk will usually not help you determine which motion you should file for nor give you the information and forms you need to file it correctly but if you can figure it out on your own then this may work.

After you’ve filed your motion, your ex will have the chance to respond to it. Your ex may be given a deadline to correct the issue or can be asked to correct it immediately. A court date will be set and a hearing will follow.

If your ex is found to be in contempt, the judge will determine a suitable punishment. In the case of late child support, this could include what’s owed or consist of additional fines. Sometimes, a judge may even order jail time until the problem has been rectified.

If you have filed a motion for contempt of court, and your ex is found to be in contempt, consider talking with your attorney about your current legal arrangement. For instance, not paying child support or failing to follow custodial rules can lead to a reevaluation of your divorce and custody terms. In turn, this can lead to a change in shared time, a difference in child support, or the addition of clarifying language or new rules and expectations.


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