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What to do if your former spouse violates a court order

On Behalf of | Sep 16, 2021 | Divorce |

You’ve worked hard to resolve your divorce, whether through settlement negotiations or litigation. But now your former spouse isn’t abiding by the court orders that are in place. Depending on which specific orders that are being violated, your finances or you’re your relationship with your child can be affected.

So, what can you do? Your first step is to try to resolve the dispute amicably. Talk to your former spouse to inform him or her of the violation and the effect that it’s having on you. If that doesn’t get you anywhere, don’t worry. What you’ve essentially done is laid the groundwork for a motion for rule to show cause.

What a rule to show cause can do for you

In essence, a rule to show cause motion asks a court to order another individual into court to demonstrate why they shouldn’t be held in contempt. The motion that you file has to be specific, though, indicating which specific order is being violated, when it was violated, and the context of the violation. You also have to demonstrate how that violation was willful.

If your former spouse isn’t able to show a good reason for violating the court’s order and you can establish that the violation is willful, then your former spouse will be held in contempt. A finding of contempt means that your spouse could be sent to jail or ordered to pay a fine. This can get them back in line with the court’s order, but it can also serve as the basis of a modification on your part.

Protect your interests, even post-divorce

Most people who go through divorce hope that the matter is over once a judge signs off on a divorce decree. Unfortunately, though, this isn’t always the case. That’s why you should be prepared to protect your interests moving forward, which means knowing the law and how it applies to your set of circumstances.