When you file for divorce in New Jersey, the court expects both spouses to uphold their ends of the settlement. If your spouse is not fulfilling their duties, you can file an NJ divorce enforcement order. However, you should not do this without the help of a New Jersey remedial contempt lawyer.
What Does It Mean to Violate a Court Order?
There are different meanings to contempt of court, depending on the violations your former spouse is committing. For example, if your former spouse is not holding their end of the bargain in your visitation plan, this is a violation of a divorce decree. Contempt of court can also be criminal, depending on their actions.
Violating a court order depends on your settlement. There are different ways your former spouse can violate a divorce decree–from not caring for your child to refusing to pay alimony.
Contempt of Court Consequences in New Jersey
The consequences of violating a court order depending on your former spouse’s actions. If your case was minor, the court might only require compliance and the offending party to pay your lawyer fees.
The court may fine your former spouse, but these fines may not exceed $50 for each offense. Wage garnishment is also a common consequence if your spouse isn’t paying for child support or alimony.
While rare, jail time may be required if your former spouse was found guilty of committing a criminal offense.
How to Enforce a Court Order
After you find a divorce enforcement attorney in New Jersey, you will have to file a Notice of Motion for enforcement with the court. In the motion, you will have to include the offenses that your former spouse is committing.
Once you file the Motion, the court will respond in specific ways that depend on your case. Here are a few examples.
During a divorce, the obligor spouse may be required to pay alimony to their former spouse. Failure to pay alimony may encompass a violation of these specific terms:
- Not paying the total amount
- Missing payments
- Ending payments before the decree specifies
In this case, the court may order wage garnishment against your former spouse. Remember that there may be limits to how much you can garnish.
If your former spouse stopped paying child support or is behind on payments, the court can also order wage garnishment against the noncustodial parent. If the payments have exceeded $2,500, the courts will notify federal law enforcement. Then, the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement will take over.
If your former spouse is not meeting their child custody or visitation requirements, the court will enforce the agreement in one of two ways.
First, they may use Rule 1:10-3, or “motion to enforce litigant’s rights.” The offending parent may receive a fine or incarceration.
The second rule the court may enforce is 5:3-7, or “additional remedies.” This can result in one of the following:
- Economic sanctions
- Compensatory time with children
- Modifying transportation arrangements
- Modifications to the arrangement
- Counseling for the parent and children
- Community service
If violations continue after the enforcement of Rule 5:3-7, the courts may issue a warrant.
Failure to Pay Debts
If you and your spouse acquired debt in your marriage, it might be one party’s duty to pay the debt. If they do not make any payments and the debt goes into collections, the non-offending party can file a petition for contempt of court against the offending party. Then, the offending party will have to pay back the debt.
Why Do You Need an NJ Divorce Enforcement Lawyer?
Divorce is never easy, especially if your former spouse is not meeting their half of the settlement. For your former spouse to pull their end of the bargain, the court must rule in your favor. This is why legal representation is vital. A New Jersey divorce lawyer can help you with the enforcement of court orders by compiling the necessary documentation to prove your case.
Divorce Enforcement Attorneys Serving Neptune and Surrounding Areas
The last thing anyone wants to do is take their former spouse to court months or even years after their divorce. But if your former partner violates a divorce decree, you must enforce a family court order in NJ.
You should not handle this process alone. An experienced Neptune family lawyer can assist with your case. Every case is different, so we always offer a free consultation. During the consultation, we will listen to your challenges to see if we can compile a compelling Motion.
Contact Our Family Law Firm
There is no reason to continue letting your former spouse violate your divorce decree. Contact SBM Family Law today. Our skilled attorneys will help you with the NJ divorce enforcement process from start to finish.