Once an agreement or court order exists in determination of family law matters such as property division, child custody or child support, the order should be followed. What can you do if your former spouse or partner fails to pay spousal support, sell property or allow access to your children according to the court order? A promising first step is to contact an experienced family law attorney.
The lawyers at Vitale Family Law help North Carolina residents who are experiencing difficulties because another party in a family law case is not following court orders. We can evaluate your case and recommend the next best steps toward enforcement.
Enforcing Private Contracts — Separation Agreements And Property Settlements
Private contracts, such as separation agreements and property settlements, are generally enforced by a civil action for specific performance and breach of contract. If you want to challenge the terms of the agreement a party is trying to enforce, certain defenses may be available to you.
Enforcement When The Other Party Is In Contempt Of The Court
Court orders are enforced by actions for contempt, which can be a civil or criminal action. If enforcement of a court order is sought, a motion to show cause is filed and an order to appear and show cause is usually issued by a court. In order to prevent a finding of contempt the burden is on the accused party to show that he or she has not willfully and knowingly violated the terms of a court order.
Enforcement Of North Carolina And Out-Of-State Child Custody Orders
Your family law attorney can advise you on what actions to take if your former spouse is failing to follow a child custody order.
If you are attempting to enforce the terms of an out-of-state custody order, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act applies and the court order must be registered in North Carolina.
What If You Are Unable To Fulfill Your Side Of A Court Order?
If you find yourself in a position where you may not be able to fulfill the terms of a court order, you should consider filing an action to modify the court order and/or negotiate a change in terms.