I Have a Court Order, but My Ex-Spouse is Ignoring It! Now What?
Unfortunately, obtaining a Court Order in New Jersey does not necessarily mean that both parties will comply with that Order. All too often, child support and alimony obligations are ignored and the obligor accrues a substantial amount of arrears. The Parent of Primary Residence is left financially struggling. Or perhaps there is an Order that addresses parenting time or custody issues, and the other party refuses to comply. After a while, you begin to think that you don’t have any options left. After all, you already have an Order from the Court….
These situations are not uncommon. The Court issues Orders, but rarely, if ever, polices them. The Court is just too busy. It is up to the parties themselves to enforce the Orders. The parties know whether the other party is complying or not. If one party to the litigation is not complying, they must bring it to the Court’s attention. How do you do this, you ask?
By filing a motion. A party seeking to enforce an Order must file a Motion to Enforce that Order in the Family Part of your County. Although you can file these motions pro se (without an attorney), it is always advisable to retain a divorce attorney. The New Jersey Rules of Court are very specific, and it is difficult to ensure that you have met every requirement. A Court can deny your motion on procedural grounds if all of the requirements of the Court Rules are not met. A divorce attorney knows these requirements and will ensure that these requirements are satisfied and that your motion will not be dismissed on procedural grounds.
If the Judge deciding your motion finds that the other party is not complying with a previous Court Order, he or she may award you counsel fees if you have an attorney, and may even impose sanctions on the non-compliant party.