When dealing with a divorce, it is not uncommon to come across a contentious spouse. The disagreements between two partners often lead them to feel contempt for one another and break down their ability to communicate and reach a mutual agreement. The inability to communicate is usually expressed during the divorce process — contested divorces can include a failure to agree on various elements of a divorce decree. However, a problematic spouse can also lead to a difficult ex-partner. Suppose your ex does not uphold their end of the divorce agreement, including failure to pay spousal support. In that case, they can be held legally responsible.
Defining a Divorce Decree
A divorce decree, or a divorce agreement, is a legal document upheld in a court of law. In other words, spouses can not violate a divorce decree. Both spouses will be legally required to follow the orders defined in the agreement. In the case of spousal support payments, also known as alimony, partners must uphold the agreement dictated in the divorce decree. If a partner decides not to follow their requirements from the contract, they can be held in contempt of court for refusing to obey a court order.
Enforcing a Court Order
Suppose you find yourself in a situation where your ex-partner stopped paying spousal support. In that case, it is best to consult a skilled divorce and family attorney who can represent your interests. As mentioned, the divorce decree is a legally-binding document. If a spouse is no longer upholding their end of the agreement, the other party involved should seek legal action.
The first step would be to schedule a consultation with an attorney. A divorce or family lawyer can review the divorce decree and identify where your spouse is being uncooperative. A lawyer can prepare documents that express that your spouse is evading payments and present these facts to the court. The court may hold the uncooperative spouse in contempt of court, leading to varying legal consequences. Sometimes, a spouse found in contempt of court for refusing to uphold the divorce decree can be required to pay the other spouse’s attorney fees for the inconvenience.
Making Changes to a Divorce Decree
If a spouse cannot make payments for spousal support for various financial reasons, the parties can make changes to a divorce decree. By making legal modifications, a decree can represent the interests of both parties and ensure that both spouses can complete their required payments. A divorce decree is up for modification every three years in Illinois. However, exceptions can be made when there is a financial need. If a partner has lost their job, had their wage cut, or is experiencing unforeseen payments, the court may modify a divorce decree sooner than the three-year time frame.
Speak to a Will County Divorce and Family Lawyer
If your spouse stops paying their required spousal support, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced divorce attorney. At [[title]], our team of Will County divorce lawyers can help you navigate various divorce issues. Please call us at [[phone]] today to schedule a free consultation.