When a former spouse defaults on their obligations, the innocent party may take action.
Oftentimes, one or both parties have obligations that extend beyond the final judgment including
- child support
- payment of equitable distribution
- transfers of retirement and/or bank accounts
- obligations to sell property and divide proceeds
Unfortunately, all too often, one former spouse (or both) defaults on their obligations. When this happens, the innocent party may take action to enforce their rights pursuant to their final judgment.
Alimony or Child Support Payment
For the payment of alimony or child support, the innocent spouse must file a Motion for Contempt, seeking to have the defaulting party held in contempt of court. A Motion for Contempt carries with it the threat of incarceration for failure to pay support obligations if the defaulting party is proven to have willfully defied the court order.
All Other Issues
For all other issues, the innocent party would file a Motion for Enforcement. This motion asks that the court compel the defaulting spouse to abide by their obligations pursuant to either the final judgment or the parties' settlement agreement, if they entered into one. If the defaulting spouse does not then abide by the court order of enforcement, the person then risks imprisonment for failure to comply with the order of enforcement.