Getting a divorce is fraught with complications, especially if your ex has bad credit. You think you have moved on, but there is a chance that you could be rejected for a new credit card or a car loan, completely unexpectedly.
That’s why it is important to keep track of all 3 of your credit reports after a divorce and to check them regularly. Keep an eye out for debts that were solely your ex’s.
Next, let’s discuss how to enforce divorce decree without hiring a lawyer.
Enforcing the Divorce Decree without a Lawyer
A divorce decree or divorce judgment is a court order that must be followed by yourself and your ex. If either of the spouses fails to follow the decree, the other spouse has the right to take steps to enforce the order.
The most common violations of the divorce decree include failure to pay debts, not dividing the retirement plan according to the court order and not listing the family home for sale.
Failure to Pay Debts
The court decides who is responsible for the payment of the debts, including credit card debt. If your spouse fails to pay what they are supposed to, then you have every right to file a motion to show cause for contempt, for failing to comply with the court orders.
A contempt proceeding will be held where the judge gives your spouse a second chance and another opportunity to comply with the court order. If they still fail to comply within the time allotted to them and have no reasonable excuse such as being unemployed and making an earnest effort to find a new job, the court can very well order jail time to force your spouse to follow the order.
Here’s a quick Step-by-Step Guide to Enforcing Divorce Decree without a Lawyer
Step 1: Get in touch with the courthouse in the county that issued the divorce decree. Speak to the judge’s law clerk or with the court clerk’s office and explain how tour spouse is violating the divorce decree.
Step 2: Next, based on the instructions received from the court, file a motion for contempt or enforcement. Fill up the forms given by the court clerk and file them under the docket number that is written on your divorce decree. Also, attach a copy of your decree.
Step 3: A court hearing will be held to address your issue. You will be given a date for the hearing by the court clerk. It’s possible that you will get less than what you had expected. The judge may issue your ex a warning and issue another court order directing them what to do within a specific period of time.
Step 4: If your spouse still doesn’t comply, file another motion with the court. Attach the copy of the divorce decree and the recent court order with your motion. This time, the judge is likely to take a more stringent stand at the court hearing and order punitive sanctions against your ex, including payment of your court costs, restrict their visitation of the children and possibly a jail term. The judge may direct a lien against your ex’s property if they owe you money or intercept their tax refund.
Attachment of Your Ex’s Property
If your ex would rather stay in jail than follow the decree, then you will have no choice but to hire a lawyer and enforce the judgment by having your ex’s property seized. You will need to demonstrate to the court that you did your best to persuade your ex to comply with the decree, along with documentary evidence to prove the same, such as a copy of a letter requesting a resolution of the dispute. The court orders the enforcement of the judgment by issuing a writ of attachment, which grants you the permission to attach your ex’s property.