As trusted family law attorneys, we realize that while many couples enter into pre-marital, post-nuptial, and other settlement agreements either prior to or after marriage in an effort to protect their assets/property and avoid issues such as spousal support or division of debt should the marriage end, there are occasions on which these agreements or "contracts" must be enforced. At Adams & Luka, we provide the legal guidance and support you need when an ex-spouse fails to comply with the terms set forth in a legal settlement agreement.
The majority of divorces end when the spouses come to an agreement that establishes the obligations and rights of the parties involved, rather than a trial by the judge. Unfortunately, it is common for one party or the other to not live up to his or her end of the agreement. At this point, enforcement of the settlement agreement becomes necessary. As experienced divorce attorneys, we know that enforcement of settlement agreements typically requires filing a request with the court so that the spouse who is not in compliance will go before a judge who will order him or her to comply with the terms set forth in the agreement. However, how easy it is to bring the party into compliance depends on the issue at hand.Orange County Lawyers Representing Clients in Enforcement of Settlement Agreement Matters
When both spouses agree to a marital settlement agreement and the document is properly formed and legal, the terms of the agreement are adopted in a court-ordered divorce decree. Essentially, this means that the agreement is as powerful as if it had been ordered by the judge.
Some of the remedies available for enforcing a divorce judgment or marital settlement agreement depending on the issue at hand include:
It is important to remember that in financial matters, courts can only do so much if the spouse who is not in compliance has limited financial resources. With an order of enforcement, the court can order that the non complying spouse comply, or be held in contempt if he or she does not obey a direct order of the court. An example of this would be when property is to be listed for sale, and the non-compliant party refuses to sign a listing agreement.
While judges do have a number of tools at their disposal to order compliance, it is important to understand that enforcing a support order and enforcing a non-support obligation are two very different things. For instance, if your ex-spouse is responsible for paying a portion of a credit card debt in the agreement and he or she fails to pay the agreed upon amount, the judge is limited in what he/she can do, and may enter a judgment against the spouse who neglects to pay for the amount of the unpaid debt. The party cannot be found in contempt or put in jail, as may be the case with other support issues.Contact Adams & Luka for Legal Support and Guidance Regarding Settlement Agreement Enforcement Today
As with many aspects of divorce, settlement agreements can be complex and confusing. When one of the parties does not comply with the terms set forth in a marital settlement agreement, it can be difficult and stressful. You don't know what to do, or who to turn to. Non-compliance in settlement agreements can leave the compliant party facing a difficult situation, either financially or otherwise. At Adams & Luka, we provide exceptional legal guidance and support to residents of Central Florida. Call us now at (407) 872-0307 or (352) 787-2101.