What to do if your ex does not follow the divorce order

You may breathe a sigh of relief once the divorce is final, believing you can move on with your life now and that the worst is over. While coming to the divorce agreement may have been the worst part in your case, the struggle may not be over. Your ex could continue to be uncooperative and contentious even after the divorce proceedings are complete.

For various reasons, some ex-spouses do not follow the divorce order, whether it is not dividing assets properly or failing to pay child support. What are you to do in these cases? First, try with a notification from you or your attorney warning that you will get Texas courts involved again. This attempt will also help your case if noncompliance continues. If the warning does not produce the results you want, then consider alternatives.

Legal options

You can take legal steps to enforce the divorce agreement so that if your ex does not comply, he or she will face severe penalties. You can file a motion of contempt or enforcement, depending on the issue. You will have to prove contempt was intentional, and your ex will then have the chance to amend the issue. If he or she does not, possible penalties include fines, jail time and wage garnishment. Another route is to file for criminal nonsupport charges.

If your ex is cooperative but cannot comply with the current order, you can choose to modify the agreement instead (only for custody, visitation, child support and spousal support). You can either come to new terms out of court through mediation or collaboration, or you can go through the court and have the judge decide. The latter may require showing that a substantial change in either of your circumstances warrants a revision of the original order. The new terms may be temporary or permanent, depending on the situation.

FindLaw Network
Heidi L. Heinrich
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