Since your divorce was finalized, you have kept your side of the settlement and fulfilled your obligations. However, your ex-spouse has not honored the contract. At this point, you may be wondering how to enforce a divorce decree in Florida.
You already attempted to correspond with your ex-spouse by text, phone call, email, written letter, or even by asking a family member or friend to relay your message. Your ex-spouse’s response went something like this:
- s/he agreed to your request, but nothing has changed;
- s/he said they would not comply;
- s/he insisted on revising the settlement terms; or
- s/he ignored your communication altogether.
Typical Reasons To Return To Court
If your efforts to have a reasonable discussion with your ex-spouse have fallen flat, you need a post-divorce attorney to help you take your case to court. Your claim may regard:
- Child support: The ex-spouse isn’t paying the correct amount, isn’t paying on time, or has stopped paying.
- Time-sharing/Parental Responsibility Plan: The ex-spouse is not following the parenting plan terms. Typical examples include disregarding the times/days to pick up or drop off the children; emotionally or physically abusing the children; or neglecting the children’s medical and educational needs. If you suspect that your ex-spouse has developed a substance abuse problem or that your children are being exposed to violence at your ex-spouse’s home, contact a Florida divorce law group immediately.
- Alimony: The ex-spouse’s payments are late, inaccurate, or have ceased.
- Assets: The ex-spouse has failed to transfer bank accounts, retirement accounts, or other assets as described in the divorce settlement.
- Home/Business: After the sale of the family home, the proceeds were to be divided, but the ex-spouse has not forwarded the money or has refused to sell the family home. If a business or other property is involved, the ex-spouse has not transferred the business or property titles.
- Debts: The ex-spouse has failed to pay off his or her portion of shared debts.
- Pets: The ex-spouse refuses to follow the agreement regarding the family pets.
Document, Document, Document
A judge can only review what is presented to the court. Thus, you will strengthen your case by providing documentation to your post-judgment attorney. Keep detailed records, with dates and times, that demonstrate the ex-spouse’s lack of compliance. Examples include:
- Bank/Creditor Statements
- Outsiders’ Testimony (for example, your child’s school reports that the ex-spouse is regularly very late in picking up your child)
Review Your Divorce Settlement
As a first step, Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law Firm advises clients to carefully re-read their divorce settlements before deciding to return to court. Sometimes, clients believe the settlement says one thing, but upon review, we discover the actual court orders state something else entirely. Having represented numerous clients in post-divorce cases, our team is experienced in analyzing the legal stipulations in divorce settlements. We are also well-versed in tackling cases where ex-spouses are members of the U.S. military, are non-U.S. citizens, or have moved out of state.
Filing A Motion To Enforce A Divorce Decree
Once you have authorized a post-divorce attorney to represent you, your attorney will seek to file enforcement paperwork and/or negotiate with the ex-spouse. If the ex-spouse is not responsive to negotiations. During the hearing before the judge, your attorney will submit your case and request that the court commands your ex-spouse to comply with the terms of your divorce settlement.
The judge will review your claim and your ex-spouse’s rebuttal. If the judge agrees with you and issues a court order, your ex-spouse must obey the court’s ruling. If the ex-spouse refuses to follow the legal provisions, Florida law may find them in contempt of court under certain circumstances, or compelled to comply. This means the ex-spouse may face fines, wage garnishment, liens against their property, loss of their professional licenses, and/or jail time when it comes to support, and will be compelled to comply when it comes to equitable distribution.
Rely On A Knowledgeable Partner: Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law Firm
An online search for “divorce law firm near me” will present many candidates. However, if you plan to take an ex-spouse back to court, you need a strategic and tenacious attorney. Only a resolute and well-prepared attorney going into court is likely to persuade a judge to rule in your favor.
Take action now. Entrust your case to the post-divorce attorneys at Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law Firm. With more than 60 years of collective experience, we are skilled at representing clients who need legal assistance to enforce their divorce decrees. Call (954) 447-2580 or complete our online form today to schedule a strategy session. Our staff is bilingual in English and Spanish, and we serve Broward County and Miami-Dade County from our offices in Pembroke Pines, Weston, and Sunny Isles Beach.