If your former spouse has violated your Ohio divorce or custody agreement, you have a few options for recourse. The court that entered your divorce decree maintains its authority over that order, so you have the power of the court on your side.
Failure to Pay Spousal or Child Support
If your former spouse was ordered to pay child support or spousal support in your divorce agreement and has failed to pay, you can enforce that order. If this is the only time he or she has failed to pay, it is best to initially try to come to an understanding about the situation and arrange for payment. But if the nonpayment is continual, and you have received no response from your former spouse, you can go back to the court that oversaw your divorce and move for your spouse to be held in contempt for failure to comply with a court order.
The court will require your former spouse to appear and provide an explanation as to why he or she has not paid past-due spousal or child support. If he or she cannot provide an adequate explanation, or if he or she does not attend the hearing, the court will find him or her in contempt of court.
Once held in contempt, your former spouse will be given the opportunity to correct the situation by paying all outstanding support. However, if this does not occur, the court can take additional action. In cases of repeated violations, the court can order collections procedures and can impose a jail sentence. Even if your former spouse has now moved to another state, reciprocal laws will allow for the Ohio court’s order to stand.
Failure to Follow Custody or Shared Parenting Agreement
Remedies are also available through the court if your former spouse is not honoring your court-ordered parenting time. These situations are more complex than nonpayment of support because of the relationships involved. It is important for parents to understand why the existing arrangement is not being honored. Perhaps the agreement needs to be changed. But the way to go about that is not to simply stop following the existing order.
Parents who are being denied shared parenting time can file a motion with the court to require the spouse who is not in compliance to show cause as to why the parenting schedule has not been followed. The court has a variety of options for enforcing its order in these situations, while always preserving the best interests of the child.
Contact an Ohio Divorce Attorney
If your former spouse has violated your Ohio divorce agreement or custody/shared parenting agreement, contact the experienced attorneys at Dawes Legal, LLC. Our lawyers will help you achieve the results you need for yourself and your children. You can reach our Columbus office today by calling (614) 733-9999.