Sometimes dissolution of marriage continues much longer and is more stressful than anticipated because one spouse refuses to follow the rules. In cases where an ex refuses to follow court-ordered property division, there are things you can do to help make sure the order gets enforced.
Enforcing Property Division in a Divorce
If your ex-spouse isn’t following the property division orders set out by the court, you’ll need to go back to the same court to have the order enforced. You’ll file a lawsuit asking the court to enforce the order. The lawsuit won’t ask the court to change the original order or your divorce decree in any way; it will just ask the court to specify how the property should be divided.
As with other legal actions, the other party must receive notice. Then, they’ll need to respond or risk getting a default judgment made against them.
Timeline: When Can I Ask the Court to Enforce a Property Division Order?
You’ll need to wait at least 30 days after the court-ordered property division before asking the court to enforce it. But, don’t wait too long. There is a two-year statute of limitations on these claims. That means that you must file your lawsuit within two years of the date that the court issued the original order. (Of course, talk with a lawyer about your situation, even if you worry that the statute of limitations has passed. It’s better to be safe than sorry!)
Remedies: What Can the Court Do?
Perhaps the ex-spouse isn’t following the property division order because the order is unclear, so asking the court to clarify the order is a good starting point. If the motion to clarify does not result in the desired outcome, you can file a motion for the delivery of property.
If your ex-spouse still refuses to comply with the property division order, your lawyer can file a motion for contempt. Courts can order money damages and even have your ex-spouse sent to jail if they are found to be in contempt of court. The court can also force your ex-spouse to pay your court costs and attorney’s fees.
Get Help With Property Division Enforcement. Contact an Attorney.
Divorce is stressful enough, even when both spouses play by the rules. It’s important to have an experienced attorney on your side. If you need legal help with enforcing a property division order, you can start by calling the Arlington office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 817-799-7125 . Our Texas divorce lawyers are here to support you.