The realization that your former spouse is not willing to uphold his or her end of a court ordered agreement is an unpleasant shock that unfortunately is fairly common. Even after months of meetings, court hearings, and tense discussions, some adults still believe they cannot be punished even if they ignore portions of a legal agreement. Once it becomes apparent that your ex is not willing to work with you, it is time to determine what step to take next. Now that the divorce is finalized, your ex may be in contempt of court, which carries significant legal consequences. Before talking to an attorney, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to help determine if your ex is in contempt.
Can You Communicate with Your Children?
Interfering with the relationship between a parent and child is something that family court does not tolerate. After a child custody and visitation arrangement is agreed upon, your former spouse should not do anything to disturb your parenting time. He or she also cannot do anything to interfere with your ability to speak with your children. You should always be able to call your children (during reasonable hours), send messages to your children via email, text, or social media, and be able to see your children. There is no acceptable reason for your ex-spouse to interfere with communication between parent and child or prevent court ordered visitation.
Have You Received Your Half of the Assets?
Property and asset division during a divorce is time consuming, often becoming the primary reason a divorce is contested. Settlement agreements that involve property will include instructions for the distribution of assets. Certain assets including physical items or money from the sale of a property may not be available until after the agreement is finalized. The judge or your attorney may include a time frame for the property to be provided to you, and if you have not received it after that period, you may need to take steps. Your ex-spouse should provide you with your share of marital assets or provide a reasonable explanation for the delay.
Are Support Payments Being Made?
Georgia child support enforcement often handles payment collection for cases after a hearing with the judge. It can take between one and three months for the agency to begin collecting payments. If that time has passed, your former spouse is supposed to be making payments directly to you, or you are waiting for a lump sum alimony payment, contact your former spouse. Alternatively, contact any agency that is involved in collecting support payments. After a reasonable period of time has passed, unless the court order is modified, there should be no further delays.
When to Contact a Lawyer
If you do not believe your former spouse or partner is complying with a court order, contact a family law contempt attorney. An attorney who understands Georgia contempt motions can help you determine if pursuing a contempt claim is in your best interest. The attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum know how important it is to move forward after a stressful divorce. We are ready to assist you and ensure that your former partner complies with the court orders he or she received. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation at one of our four Atlanta metro area locations.