New Jersey Divorce Lawyers: What If My Ex-Spouse Refuses to Comply With Prior Court Order or Our Divorce Agreement?

Sometimes people are forced to go back to Court more than once to try to get an Order reinforced.

When a party files an application with a court seeking certain relief, whatever that relief may be, a final judgment or order is issued. When two people get divorced, the terms of that divorce are contained in a Property/Marital Settlement Agreement, which is entered through the court, and of which both parties’ compliance is required. Unfortunately, not all parties comply with this final order. Most times this non-compliance leads more litigation when the party seeking compliance is required to file a post-judgment application.

When a party to a family court order fails to follow the terms of an already issued order, the other party can file a post-judgment application with the court to enforce the order and compel the other party’s compliance. “Post-judgment” just means anything that occurs after a judgment has been issued by a court.

Lucky for the filing party, the power of a court to enforce its orders is beyond question. Board of Educ., Tp. of Middletown v. Middletown Tp. Educ. Ass’n, 352 N.J. Super. 501, 508 (Ch. Div. 2001); D’Angelo v. D’Angelo, 208 N.J. Super. 729, 731 (Ch. Div 1986) (citing Joseph Harris & Sons, Inc. v. Van Loan, 23 N.J. 466, 469 (1957). A litigant may apply for enforcement of an existing order or judgment under 1:10-3, which provides that “[n]ot withstanding that an act of omission may also constitute a contempt of court, a litigant in any action may seek relief by application in the action.” “The scope of relief in a motion in aid of litigants’ rights is limited to remediation of the violation of a court order.” Abbot ex rel. Abbot v. Burke, 206 N.J. 332, 371 (2011) (citing Asbury Park Bd. Of Educ. v. N.J. Dep’t of Envtl. Prot., 369 N.J. Super. 481, 486 (App. Div.), aff’d in part, 180 N.J. 109 (2004)).

If your adversary is ever in violation of a prior court order or agreement, and you are unable to remedy this non-compliance through negotiation or mediation, you must seek enforcement of that order through the court. If you or someone you know has questions about their adversary’s non-compliance with a prior court order and are seeking enforcement of same, contact one of the skilled attorneys at Lyons & Associates at 908-575-9777. You can also fill out our online intake form.

Written by: William P. Lemega, Esq.