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Legal Options When Your Ex Ignores the Divorce Decree

 Posted on September 06, 2022 in Illinois Divorce

Kane County divorce lawyerNational statistics show that approximately 50 percent of all married couples divorce. The percentage for subsequent marriages is even higher – 60 percent of all second marriages end up in a divorce court and a whopping 73 percent of all third marriages also end in divorce. Illinois is ranked at number 44 when it comes to the national divorce rate with a rate of just over 6 percent; however, while that number may seem low, remember the population of the state is approximately 13 million people.  

Every divorce case is different – the process and resolution with some cases are quick, while the process and resolution with others drag on for months or even years. The constant in all Illinois divorces is that the court will issue a divorce decree that declares the marriage is legally over and stipulates the final decisions on child custody, child support, division of assets, alimony, and any other issues. And although this decree is a legal order from the court, some spouses fail to adhere to it. What legal options do you have if your ex-spouse is not obeying your divorce decree?

Ignoring the Decree

When your ex is failing to follow the divorce decree, the first thing you want to do is consult with your lawyer. There will be steps your attorney will recommend that may convince your ex to comply without having to go to court. Some of the things you should be doing that will help your case if you do have to go back in front of the judge include:

  • Make sure that all of your communication with your ex about the issue is via email. This way you have an electronic record that your attorney can use as evidence if the issue does end up in front of the court. If any communication is done via text messaging, then make sure to save those text messages, as well as take screenshots in case something should happen to the originals.

  • Keep a journal of all of your in-person communication with your ex about the issue, making sure to include dates and times conversations took place.

  • If there are posts and photos on your ex’s social media accounts that could be relevant to the issue (such as taking trips but not paying child support), make sure to take screenshots to give to your attorney.

In some cases, negotiations between your attorney and your ex-spouse’s attorney can resolve the issue. If not, then you have the option of filing a contempt of court petition against your ex.

If the court finds your ex-spouse is in contempt, there are a number of options they have which will usually depend on what obligation your ex failed to meet. For example, if the contempt involves failure to pay child support, the court can order your ex’s wages to be garnished for the amount they are ordered to pay each month, as well as the amount they are in arrears.

If this is an ongoing issue and there have been multiple hearings and multiple contempt of court charges found by the court, the judge may even take the drastic step of imposing criminal contempt of court charges against your ex.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

If you are having family law issues with your ex-spouse, you need a skilled St. Charles, IL post-decree enforcement attorney advocating for you. Call Weiler & Associates, Inc. at 630-382-8050 to schedule a consultation.


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