When Your Ex Won’t Comply With The Terms Of The Divorce Order
If you just went through a nasty divorce, you may have breathed a huge sigh of relief when the whole thing was behind you. Unfortunately, if you share children with your former spouse, the relationship is likely far from over, and the same behaviors that were untenable during your marriage and throughout the divorce may linger on as you navigate life with a family plan that necessarily includes your ex. What recourse do you have if you are having trouble with an ex who refuses to comply with the agreements laid out in your divorce papers? Essentially, you are dealing with a former spouse who is in contempt of a formal court order. Let’s say you’ve already tried to both cajole and threaten your ex and that’s gotten you nowhere. What now? Your best bet moving forward includes the assistance and guidance of an experienced Springfield family law attorney, as the ultimate goal is to protect the best interests of your child, and that may require something beyond simply punishing an errant parent.
Parents who refuse to comply with visitation orders make life difficult for both the other parent and for the child. If mediation doesn’t resolve the issue, it may be necessary to file a family access motion, which can produce results more quickly than a motion for contempt. In a hearing, the court may require the offending parent to provide access to the child to make up for missed time, may order counseling for both parent and child, and may fine the parent who is not complying with the parenting plan.
If your former spouse doesn’t show up for hearings and the problems persist it may be time to pursue contempt charges against your spouse. In order to succeed with your case, it will be necessary to demonstrate that your spouse knows what’s expected and is capable of meeting those expectations but is simply choosing noncompliance. This is punishable by fines, time behind bars, or both. In some cases, an expedited enforcement may be appropriate in order to bypass the court’s overburdened docket.
If your ex is not making required child support payments, it can become a serious legal problem for them as time goes on, leading to felony charges. Wage garnishments only work when the deadbeat parent can be located, and if that’s a problem, it may require investigative services.
Getting the Help You Need
At Courtney & Mills, our dedicated and tenacious family law attorneys have your best interests in mind, and fight for positive outcomes before, during, and after divorce. If you are struggling with a former spouse who refuses to comply with the terms laid out in the divorce, we can help. Contact us for a confidential consultation in our Springfield office today.