The Court is Not Big Brother

By Brenda L. Storey, Esq.

To finish out our series of what the court does not or cannot do, I address herein the fact that the court does not track compliance.

When a court issues an order, it assumes compliance and is done with the underlying issue. The Court has no idea whether a party complies, or not. As a result, the Court has no knowledge needed to enforce its own orders.

The duty, therefore, is on the party to notify the court of non-compliance.  The ways to do this include via a Motion to Enforce, a Verified Entry of Support Judgment, a Motion for the Clerk to Act, or a Motion to Enforce Parenting Time.

I often tell clients that post-divorce compliance is like raising a 2-year-old.  If you say no, but waffle, they take advantage.  Similarly, 100% compliance by a former spouse is expected.  If a violation occurs, the issue needs to be raised immediately.  If the noncompliance is not then rectified, enforcement through the court is needed.  Otherwise,  if you give an inch, they take a mile.  Usually, one enforcement motion right away brings about compliance with the current term at issue, as well as no future noncompliance.  Thus, act swiftly – and expect nothing less than full execution of the terms reached as stated in the Agreement or Orders.

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