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What Legal Options Do I Have If My Spouse Not Obeying Divorce Decree?

 Posted on July 27, 2021 in Criminal Law

Waukesha County Divorce LawyerIt is not uncommon for there to be a number of disagreements between a couple who is going through a divorce. While there are often personal issues lingering that caused the divorce to begin with, the couple must now decide how their married life will be divided – including child custody, division of marital assets and debt, child support, and more. This can result in even more disagreements and acrimony. Unfortunately, in many cases, even after the divorce has long been finalized, one spouse may still refuse to comply with the court’s orders. In these situations, the other spouse can seek the assistance of a Milwaukee County family law attorney in taking the legal steps to enforce the court’s orders.

Enforcing a Court Order

The final divorce agreement that the judge signs off on should specify how the couple’s assets and debts will be distributed, how child custody and parenting time will be shared, and how much – if any – child support and/or spousal support will be paid. Each spouse is legally required to obey this order. If either one fails to follow the order, they can be held in contempt of court.

In order for the court to hold that spouse in contempt, the spouse who is seeking the order must first file a petition with the court that issued the divorce decree. The court will then schedule a hearing where the spouse who filed the petition will present their evidence. The other spouse will also have an opportunity to defend themselves against the petition and argue why they should not be held in contempt.

If the violation cited in the contempt of court petition concerns the child support order, there are a number of options the court may initiate in order to get the spouse to comply. Some of these options include wage garnishment, suspension of driver’s and/or professional licenses, or seizing the spouse’s passport.

If the violation cited in the contempt of court petition concerns child custody or visitation, the court could order a child custody modification and the spouse disobeying the original custody order could lose visitation time or custody if they are the primary custodial parent.

Violations for not turning over assets or property, paying a debt, or other financial issues can also result in a contempt of court decision. In some cases, depending on the specific circumstances of the case, a judge can even order a disobeying spouse to jail until they agree to comply.

Contact a Waukesha County Family Lawyer

If you are divorced and your ex-spouse refuses to comply with part or all of the divorce decree, you may need to obtain the court’s help in enforcing the orders. A skilled Waukesha, WI divorce attorney can help. Call Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP today at 262-232-6699 to schedule a free consultation.



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