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What to Do When the Other Parent Isn’t Complying With Court Orders


In a divorce case, both parties are required to follow all orders given by the court. This includes orders related to property division, child support, child custody and alimony. If your ex-spouse is not complying with a court-ordered parenting plan, you have legal rights as the other parent. Take action to protect your rights with assistance from a family law attorney in Colorado.

Follow Your Part of the Plan

Resist the urge to retaliate against your ex-spouse by failing to comply with your part of the court orders. This will not balance the scales or benefit you. Violating a court order could get you into significant legal trouble, as well as make it more difficult for you to convince a judge to help you enforce your parenting plan. Read your parenting plan carefully and make sure you understand your responsibilities. Continue keeping up your side of the agreement while you seek a resolution.

Document Everything

Some of the most common examples of noncompliance with court orders after a divorce are failing to pay child support or alimony, ignoring a custody agreement, and breaking the terms of a custody order by not allowing a child to talk on the phone with the other parent. No matter what type of court-order violation or noncompliance you are experiencing, document everything.

Unless your attorney recommends otherwise, document each violation with evidence that the other parent is refusing to follow the parenting plan. Write down the date and time of the violation, as well as a description of what happened. Evidence can also include screenshots of text messages or witness accounts.

Be sure to ask your attorney what the appropriate forms of evidence are to gather, as well as how to present your documents to the courts. Thoroughly documenting the other parent’s failure to fulfill his or her legal obligations can help strengthen your case when you file a Motion for Contempt or take other legal actions against your ex-spouse.

Go to Mediation

Many parenting plans and divorce settlement agreements have provisions that require both parties to attend mediation if there is a disagreement. If this is the case, you and your attorney will have to schedule mediation before you go to the courts to file any motions against your spouse for failure to comply.

During mediation, you and your ex-spouse will try to work through the issue at hand and achieve a resolution that works for both of you. You will each state your side of the case before a mediator – an unbiased third party who is trained in conflict resolution – who will help you come up with compromises and solutions. If mediation fails to resolve the problem, you can continue to court.

File a Motion for Contempt

A Motion for Contempt is a request submitted to the courts to punish a party for violating a court order. All court orders, including divorce decrees, are enforceable by holding the party in contempt of court. If the courts accept your motion, your ex-spouse can face penalties for violating court orders, such as having to pay a fine or even spend time in jail. If the breached court order involves a failure to pay child support, being held in contempt of court can also lead to remedies such as garnishing your ex’s wages until the back child support has been paid off.

Consult With a Family Attorney

If you get divorced and the other parent is refusing to obey a court order, consult with a family law attorney in Colorado. An attorney can give you legal advice tailored to your unique situation. If your case requires mediation or a Motion for Contempt, a lawyer can represent you and your child’s best interests in court. Discuss your individual case with an attorney at The Law Office of Stephen Vertucci today for more information.

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