What do I do if my ex won’t cooperate with the divorce?

Divorce proceedings are expensive, often depleting financial, emotional, and even physical resources. Exes often experience relief when their decree is finalized, and they can move on with their lives. Unfortunately, one partner sometimes makes it extremely difficult for the other to move on by failing to follow the terms of the divorce decree.

Select Law Partners PLLC often receives phone calls from distraught ex-partners who tell us, “My ex won’t cooperate with our divorce.” If you are in this situation, contact a Fairfax divorce lawyer from our team for help.

my ex wont cooperate with divorce

What is a divorce decree?

A divorce decree or final order of divorce, is a legal document both ex-partners receive after finalizing the terms of their divorce. Depending on the couple’s circumstances, the decree can establish terms for:

Divorce decrees are legally binding, yet some parties ignore parts or all of the decree. For example, an ex may refuse to pay spousal or child support, or the custodial parent may deny the other parent their visitation rights. Even if the decree details how property will be divided, one spouse may hold back, denying the other their rightful share. They may refuse to turn over possessions or delay liquidating and dividing marital assets.

What’s the first step in getting my ex to comply with our divorce agreement?

First, connect with an experienced Fairfax divorce attorney. Attempting to fight this battle alone can leave you frustrated at best and in danger at worst. The Select Law Partners PLLC team knows Virginia Law and will handle all communication on your behalf so you do not have to battle with your ex while adjusting to your new life.

In the best-case scenario, a strong letter from your attorney explaining the legal consequences of non-compliance is enough to prompt your ex to comply. Sometimes, however, these letters anger non-compliant exes who may try to retaliate. Inform your attorney of these attempts, and most importantly, call the authorities if you are in danger.

How can the courts help when my ex won’t cooperate with the divorce?

If your ex-spouse doesn’t respond to the letter, your attorney will likely advise you to collect evidence of your ex’s non-compliance. This evidence may include texts, emails, voicemails, account statements, or other communications demonstrating their refusal to comply with the divorce decree. Your attorney will present the evidence to a judge who will review your case and decide how to proceed. Generally, this is done through a show cause proceeding or a motion to enforce proceeding.

Disobeying the divorce decree can be contempt of court. If there was a settlement agreement incorporated into the final decree it could also be considered a breach of contract. The judge may assign your ex serious consequences, including:

  • Fines
  • Wage garnishment
  • Withheld tax refunds
  • Liens on a business, home, or other assets
  • Revocation of professional licenses

Judges may allow modifications to the parenting plan for non-compliance with child custody or visitation. In cases where exes fail to pay child support, judges may ultimately issue jail time, releasing the non-compliant ex when they have paid what they owe.

We’re here to help you move on

No divorce is easy, but non-compliant exes make the process and post-divorce life especially difficult. For help navigating post-divorce with an uncooperative ex, partner with a compassionate, knowledgeable Fairfax divorce attorney from Select Law Partners PLLC by calling (855) 541-4867 or sending a message to schedule a consultation. We understand your pressure and frustration and are prepared to fight for relief, compliance, and a fresh start.

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

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