Your final divorce agreement outlines how you and your former spouse handle items such as alimony, child custody, child support, and how the martial property is divided. It is likely that a lot of planning and compromise went into the divorce agreement but is it not uncommon for one spouse to decide they are not going to abide by the settlement’s terms. However, a final divorce agreement is a legally binding document, and should your ex ignore or violate its terms, he or she could face serious consequences.
What are my Options? If your spouse is not abiding by the divorce agreement, you have various options. First, read the divorce agreement carefully, especially if the divorce took place some time ago, and make sure you are following the terms of the agreement. You might allege your former spouse is in violation of the agreement, but they may claim you are also in some type of violation. When that is the case, you cannot ask the court to enforce certain provisions while you are also not in compliance.
If you are confident that you are complying, look at the conditions included in the agreement. The agreement might require mediation, or some type of written notice sent to your ex prior to your ability to go to court with an enforcement action.
If you and your ex are on relatively good terms, ask them if they are aware that what they are doing violates the divorce agreement. It is always possible that your former spouse does not fully understand the particulars of the agreement. If your spouse is generally compliant, but payments are sometimes a few days late or visitation is often rearranged, keep in mind that life happens and try to put up with minor inconveniences.
On the other hand, if your ex does understand and is simply not complying, it is time to seek legal help.
Keep Good Records
If your ex is not complying with the agreement, good documentation is critical. Keep a careful record of how the agreement was breached. If the matter involves custody or visitation, write down exactly what happened, noting the date and time. Keep copies of all emails, voicemails, texts, and similar communication.
If the non-compliance is financial, evidence may include your bank statements showing that payments did not arrive on time or were not in the proper amount.
Divorce Agreement Enforcement
There is little you can do on your own to enforce the divorce settlement. When a judge orders enforcement, however, it is a different story. Your attorney can advise you on the best steps to take based on your individual situation.
If the court does get involved, a judge might impose penalties on your former spouse. Such penalties may include not only fines, but also penalties such as:
- Withholding of income tax refunds
- Wage garnishment
- Freezing of the ex-spouse’s bank accounts
- Lien placement on a house or business
- Loss of professional license
- Loss of passport
- Loss of driver’s license.
Media Divorce Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Help Clients with Post-Divorce Issues
If your spouse is not following your divorce agreement, you need the services of a Media divorce lawyer at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. Our experienced lawyers will fight for your rights. For an initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 610-565-3701. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.