Motion To Enforce

Motion Of Enforcement

Motion For Contempt

Sometimes a spouse may fail to comply fully with the court orders that dissolve a marriage.  These orders provide a guideline for matters such as child custody, alimony and child support. You can file a motion to enforce or a motion for contempt in case your spouse fails to fulfill their obligations as required by the court orders following a divorce. 

What Is Motion To Enforce?

Motion To Enforce vs Motion For Contempt

File a motion to enforce when your former spouse does not abide by court orders relating to equitable distribution of debt and property division. For example, when a spouse fails to pay marital debt or properly distribute account funds, you can use a motion to enforce. 

A motion to enforce is not a penalty but a tool used to remind the spouse to comply with court orders. You cannot use a motion of contempt in a scenario involving equitable distribution of debt or property.

What Is The Difference Between Motion To Enforce And Motion For Contempt?

Motion To Comply With Court Order

Motion To Enforce

You can file a motion of contempt if your former spouse fails to fulfill court ordered financial obligations.  For example, if your former spouse fails to pay spousal or child support or other obligations ordered by the court, file a motion of contempt. Debts are not considered in this situation, which means you cannot seek their enforcement through motions for contempt.  

Anyone found to be in contempt faces hefty penalties including court fees, fines and even jail time. An experienced lawyer can help you prove that your former spouse has failed to comply with court orders, and help you file the appropriate motion. 

Examples Of Divorce Decree Violations

What Does Motion For Contempt Mean

Here are the most common examples of divorce decree violations:

  • Refusing to pay spousal support or child support 
  • Failing to agree on a shared parenting plan
  • Refusing to return a pet to a former spouse
  • Refusing to pay joint debt 
  • Not complying with orders on how to divide retirement accounts
  • Not vacating or selling the family house

Steps To Take In Filing A Contempt Action

File Motion For Contempt

You need to review the divorce decree carefully to ensure that your former spouse has violated it. This will help you prove that your spouse deliberately and willfully refused to comply with the orders.  Contact an experienced family lawyer to look into the matter and help come up with a successful strategy. 

You may also try to reason with your former spouse and tell them you are ready to go to court if they do not comply with the divorce decree. File a contempt motion with the court if the spouse refuses to comply. Your lawyer will present your case before a judge. The defendant’s side of the story will also be considered by the judge.

Why Non-Custodial Parent May Fail To Pay Child Support

Motion To Enforce Litigants Rights

In a contested divorce that is settled in court, the judge may order the non-custodial parent to pay a significant amount in child support.  There are measures the non-custodial parent can take to modify the child support amount if they feel it’s too high.  You can either talk to the custodial parent to agree to not have child support payments or seek to modify it if there is a significant change in circumstances.