When a divorce becomes final, a judge issues a divorce decree incorporating orders regarding property division, spousal support, child support, custody, and visitation. Sometimes the couple has spent months negotiating these issues. If the couple never agreed, a judge issued the order based on their interpretation of the evidence they heard at the divorce trial.
Divorce decrees are court orders and are enforceable. If your spouse is not paying alimony or child support as ordered or is violating your parenting plan, speak with a local divorce attorney. They could explain the process of enforcing the terms of a divorce in Guilford.
If the spouse is non-compliant with an order to pay spousal support or is not following the terms of the parenting plan, frank communication is the best way to address the issue. A motion asking a court to enforce the agreement is possible, but courts like to see that a spouse asking for relief has tried other methods of resolving the issue before turning to a court.
If a non-compliant spouse is experiencing temporary difficulties that make adhering to the divorce decree challenging, the other might agree to make adjustments until the problems pass. However, a spouse should consult with an attorney before deciding on temporary non-compliance with the decree. Accommodating a spouse in Guilford in the short term might make it harder to enforce a divorce decree’s original terms in the long run.
Situations change, and sometimes an order issued by a judge no longer works well for the family. In that case, the spouses can work together to develop a new agreement that reflects their current reality better. Judges usually accept a modified agreement if both spouses agree the modification is necessary.
An uncompromising stance might be necessary if a parent falls behind on child support. If a parent does not make a payment as agreed, the receiving parent may seek an explanation before taking further action.
If a parent is a more than a month behind on their payments, the receiving parent should consult a legal advocate. In many cases, a legal professional can reach out to the delinquent parent’s attorney to resolve the matter. If not, the Connecticut Office of Child Support Services might help a spouse in Guildford enforce the terms of a child support order.
A spouse not receiving child support as agreed can take the delinquent spouse to court. Connecticut General Statutes §46b-87 allows a spouse to ask a judge to hold a non-compliant spouse in contempt. These motions could have severe consequences, including garnishing a paying parent’s wages, seizure of bank accounts, suspending licenses like a driver’s license or professional license, and even sentencing the offender to jail.
Sometimes a spouse in Guilford needs to enforce the terms of a custody order immediately. When a parent has evidence that the other parent’s home is unsafe or they did not return a child when required to do so, the parent will need to seek an ex parte motion for immediate custody.
A parent would submit an emergency request to a court seeking specific relief, such as the return of the child. A court makes a temporary decision based on the basis of the requesting parent’s application and sworn affidavit. If an emergency custody request is granted, the court will schedule a hearing within two weeks to conduct a full hearing with notice to the other parent, an opportunity for both parties to submit evidence, to determine whether the order should remain in effect, voided or modified. An ex parte motion is only appropriate in emergencies, and a parent should seek help preparing it from a local lawyer.
Your divorce decree is a legal court order that confers certain rights and obligations. If your former spouse is not compliant with the terms of your divorce, it is essential to act.
A legal representative can explain enforcing the terms of a divorce in Guilford. Whether you negotiate with your ex or take formal legal action, a legal professional can provide valuable help and support. Call today to discuss your case.