Woman discussing her divorce decree with her lawyer.

What Do I Do If My Ex Violates Our Divorce Decree?

It may have been a struggle to finally settle all issues incident to divorce. The divorce decree can memorialize what could have been months of back and forth on issues such as spousal support or child support. Unfortunately, the problems may not even fully resolve after the final divorce decree has been entered. If your spouse chooses to violate the terms of the divorce decree, you may find yourself back in court to stop this from continuing to happen.

My ex violated my divorce decree, what should I do?

Before you take action because your ex is violating your divorce decree, review the terms of the divorce decree and marital settlement agreement in order to make sure that he or she is, in fact, violating the terms. Additionally, you should review these documents to make sure you are in full compliance with all relevant provisions. Keep a record to document any and all breaches of the divorce decree. Any other supporting evidence such as bank statements showing insufficient support payments will be helpful as well.

If you have verified that your ex has violated the divorce decree, make sure you satisfy any conditions precedent. This means that your decree may have conditions that must be met before you take any action for a violation. You may be required to give written notice of the violation to your ex. You may also be required to attend mediation regarding the violation prior to taking any further actions to enforce the agreement.

It is first often helpful to reach out to your ex in an informal capacity before seeking any kind of formal court action against him or her for a breach of the marital settlement agreement. It may just be a misunderstanding regarding the obligations set forth in the agreement. This approach may not only resolve the matter quickly and more amicably, but it will keep communication open between you and your former spouse. This is even more important when you are co-parenting and need to maintain an amicable relationship.

If informally reaching out to your ex did not resolve the matter, you may go to court to seek enforcement of the divorce decree. If your former spouse has violated any part of the divorce decree, you can file a motion for contempt of court. The motion must be served on your former spouse and must state what aspects of the final divorce decree have been violated. The motion must also state why your ex should be held in contempt of court.

You, as the injured party, have the burden of proving that what you are accusing your ex of is true. If the court finds your ex guilty of violating the divorce decree, he or she will often be given a chance to immediately comply with the provisions in which they have been violating. The judge will draw up an order that holds your ex in contempt and stating how he or she can “purge” themselves of the contempt, meaning how they can rectify the situation.

Florida Divorce Attorneys

It can often feel like divorce is an ongoing struggle, even after it has been finalized. The Florida divorce attorneys at the Orlando Family Team will help you navigate this often turbulent path. We are here to help relieve you of some of the burdens you may feel fall on your shoulders in the midst of a divorce. Contact us today.