Although a final judgment should be the last step in a divorce, former spouses may continue to clash if one party refuses to comply with the order. In many cases, former spouses are resentful of having to pay high amounts of alimony or child support, or not having primary custody of the children. However, some exec may have legitimate reasons such as illness or job loss, which makes it difficult for them to keep up with support payments. Regardless of the reasons, it can be devastating to the well-being of you and your children if your spouse fails to comply with the divorce decree. A couple of missed alimony payments, for example, can cause you to default or your mortgage or car payment. Your ex's refusal to help out with college expenses may force your child to drop out of school, while significantly damaging their relationship.
Of course, you should attempt to work out these issues with your former spouse whenever possible. Depending on the issues, you may need to negotiate alternate arrangements on a temporary basis, or consider making a permanent modification to the original agreement. If your spouse refuses to speak with you, or continues to ignore the terms of the divorce decree, you will need to file a motion of contempt or enforcement with the court that issued your final judgement of divorce. The court clerk should be able to verify which motion you should file, but he or she will only be able to advise you about basic court procedures and which forms to use. For help with putting together your motion, as well as legal advice about your specific situation, you will need to consult an experienced family law attorney.
One thing you should definitely discuss with your attorney is the upcoming court hearing. Since you will be pleading your case in front of a judge, it's in your best interest to have legal representation. If the judge rules in your favor, your ex will be ordered to comply with the original order by a specific date. If your ex fails to do so, your attorney will file another motion, along with a request for your ex to pay your legal fees and compensate you for things like back child support and missed parenting time. In addition, your ex may be sanctioned with penalties, including fines of $50 per violation. In extreme cases, the judge may impose additional penalties such as revoking the offenders' driver's license, or even sending the person to jail.
If you are struggling with an ex who refuses to comply with the terms of your divorce, please contact the family law attorneys of Villani & DeLuca, P.C. While New Jersey has clear procedures for enforcing a divorce judgement, the process of making it happen is complicated and time-consuming. Working without an attorney can result in errors or delays, which may end up costing you far more than if you had worked with an attorney in the first place.