The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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What If My Spouse Refuses to Follow Our Illinois Divorce Decree?

Posted on in Divorce

North Aurora divorce attorney order enforcement

There are many steps in the divorce process, but the one that nearly everyone looks forward to is the final step -- the prove-up. If you and your ex-spouse were able to keep your divorce out of the courtroom, this is the only time you will have actually appeared before a judge. Even if you had to settle your divorce in court, either way, your divorce is finalized once the judge signs the decree. This can be a huge weight lifted off of your shoulders, but in some high-conflict divorces, the feeling of relief may be short-lived. It can be extremely frustrating if your spouse does not adhere to the terms of the decree after you spent so much time hashing things out. Fortunately, if your former spouse is wilfully disobeying your divorce decree, there are things you can do to rectify the situation.

Determining if There Is a Violation

Before you do anything, you should first make sure that your ex is indeed in violation of your divorce decree. For your ex-spouse to be considered in contempt of court, you must have a valid and current court order. Your ex must also be willfully in contempt of a court order, rather than non-willful contempt. This means that your ex must be knowingly and meaningfully violating the order.

For example, say you have a court order for child support for your three children, all of whom are under the age of 18. Since they live with you the majority of the time, the child support order states that your ex is to pay you $1,400 each month. If he or she does not pay the child support, but it is determined that he has the financial ability to pay, he or she would be held in contempt of the support order.

Taking Your Case to Court

Once you have discussed your case with an attorney, you will present your case to a judge in an ex parte hearing, which is one that does not involve the other party. During this hearing, the judge will determine whether or not your allegations of contempt against your ex have any merit to them. If they do, you will proceed to trial, this time with your ex included. Here, you both will present evidence for your claims and the judge will determine whether or not your ex is officially in contempt of court.

Punishments for contempt of divorce decrees typically vary depending on the type of order that was violated. For example, if a child support order is violated, the person is ordered to pay the amount due. However, the money owed can be recovered from him or her in various ways, such as wage garnishment, intercepting tax refunds, and seizing bank accounts. In some cases, other punishments for child support violations are also used, such as jail time, professional license revocation, and driver’s license revocation.

Contact an Oswego Divorce Lawyer

Even when a couple has minimal conflict in their divorce, it can take months to finalize. For high-conflict cases, it can take even longer to finalize a divorce, making it that much more frustrating if one of the former spouses does not follow the divorce decree. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we understand how tolling it can be to have to revisit the legal side of your divorce. Our Kendall County divorce order enforcement attorney, Matthew Williams, has been practicing family law since 1999 and has helped hundreds of clients successfully enforce their divorce decrees. To get started, schedule a consultation by calling us at 630-409-8184.




The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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