By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida
When a final judgment of divorce is signed by the judge and entered by the court on the record, it is an enforceable court order. If you and your spouse signed a marital settlement agreement, it is attached and becomes part of the final judgment.
Final judgments of divorce do the following:
Transfer property, divide bank accounts, order one or the other spouse to pay certain bills, award household furnishings, artwork and the like; orders provide child support, alimony, tax benefits, attorneys fees.
So what happens if one or the other spouse does not do what he/she is supposed to do under the directive of the court order? The innocent spouse has to take an affirmative step in the court system to file a motion to enforce the court order, or a motion for contempt of court.
These motions result in a court hearing where the wrongdoing spouse can testify and put forth his/her affirmative defenses, if any. The matter can be resolved by the judge offering up a time plan in which to perform, or an abatement of the obligation for a time certain, or the court may find the wrongdoer in willful contempt. A time to correct the omission is given, and if not satisfied, then a commitment hearing will be set to show cause as to why this person should not be incarcerated. Willful contempt exists when a person has the ability to perform under the court order, but just doesn’t want to. This behavior is contemptuous and courts do not take it lightly.
For more information on this or other divorce topics call one of the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561-835-9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at http://www.familylawwpb.com.