23 Jan Enforcement of Final Decrees and Orders
When a court makes a ruling in a family law, the court has the ability to make sure that the parties do what the court orders them to do. There are a number of techniques that that the court can use to ensure that a party obeys an order or punish a party who disobeys an order. The method of ensuring compliance with an order, however, depends upon the type of order that a person has violated.
The most important factor in ensuring that you are able to enforce an order is to make sure that the order is drafted properly when the order is submitted to the court for signature. Unfortunately, an improperly drafted order can mean that your order is not capable of being enforced. If it is not drafted properly you may be forced to modify the order to ensure its enforceability. A final order’s terms must be specific, clear and unambiguous. Therefore, it is vital that you or your attorney is knowledgeable about the language necessary to include in your order when it is submitted to the court for signature.
Enforcement of Child Support, Possession or Access
The court has the ability to find a party in contempt and put a party in jail, fine, and order the repayment of attorney fees for a party’s failure to abide by an order relating to child support or possession. For each occasion that a party fails to pay the full amount of child support as ordered, the court can hold a person in contempt. For each occasion that a party violates a possession order, the court can hold a person in contempt. A child support order should include provisions relating to the amount of support each month and the date each support payment is due. A possession order should minimally include each date a party is entitled to possession, the time that each period of possession should begin and end, and the location of each exchange.
If the court finds a person guilty of criminal contempt for failure to abide by a court order, the court may punish a party by jailing a party for up to 6 months and/or fining the party up to $500 for each violation of the court order. The court may also enforce provisions relating to child support and possession by placing a party on probation; suspending a professional license, suspending a driver’s license, suspending a hunting license, seizing a bank account, or even imposing a lien on property owned by the violating party.
Enforcement of Property Division from Divorce
The court may be able to enforce property division through jail but will more likely to enforce property division through other means. The court will attempt to enforce property division through the award of specific property tor through the award of money damages.
In order to enforce property division, the court order must be again specific as to the time, date and place where property should be exchanged. Therefore, it Is vital that you or your attorney draft the order properly before submitting the divorce decree.