Reeder & Brown, P.C.



New Lenox divorce decree and parenting plan enforcement lawyers

Lawyers in Joliet Representing Clients in Post-Divorce Contempt of Court Proceedings

After you have completed the divorce process, your divorce decree or judgment will serve as a collection of legally enforceable court orders that address the various elements of your divorce. Your decree probably includes, at a minimum, the terms of your marital property division agreement, as most couples have at least some marital assets to be divided or debts to settle. If you have children, your decree will also include your parenting plan, which lays out your and your spouse's rights and obligations regarding parental responsibilities and parenting time. If any type of support has been ordered following your divorce, such as child support or spousal maintenance, those orders will be part of your divorce decree as well.

Both you and your spouse are expected to uphold any obligations assigned to you in an order for child custody, child support, or maintenance. This is especially important for the spouse who is supposed to be receiving payments. If you receive child support or maintenance from your ex-spouse, but he or she has stopped paying, you might be struggling to make ends meet. The good news is that the knowledgeable attorneys at Reeder & Brown, P.C. can help you with the enforcement of your support orders.

Enforcement Options in Illinois

Complying with a court order for maintenance or child support is not optional. A person who intentionally fails to meet their obligations could face serious penalties. In most cases, however, the focus remains on getting the obligor to pay rather than punishing him or her. However, if your ex-spouse has refused to comply with your parenting plan, the court may take action to compel them to do so, or it may even put restrictions in place that limit their parental responsibilities or parenting time. If your ex-spouse is delinquent in their child support or spousal support payments, or if they are attempting to interfere with your parental rights, you should contact one of our qualified attorneys to discuss your options for taking action.

When you choose Reeder & Brown, P.C. to help with your support order enforcement concerns, we will work hard to ensure that your best interests are fully protected. Our attorneys have more than 30 years of combined legal experience, and we have successfully handled many challenging cases. We will sit down with you to discuss your situation and decide on the best course of action. Our lawyers can help you determine if talking to your ex-spouse is worth the trouble or if court action is the best option.

Depending on the situation, the court could order the garnishment of your ex's wages, the seizing of bank accounts, or the interception of expected tax refunds. The court could also suspend the delinquent party's driver's license and prevent the renewal of certain professional licenses by the state.

Contempt of Court Proceedings

In the event that other enforcement options are not appropriate or fail to remedy the situation, you could ask the court to take more serious action by initiating contempt of court proceedings. During contempt of court proceedings, the party who has failed to pay or who has not followed the terms of a parenting plan will be asked to "show cause" as to why he or she has violated the court's orders. If the court finds that your ex-spouse has the means to make payments but is simply refusing to do so, or if a judge determines that he or she has refused to share custody with you as required, the court could find that your ex is in contempt of court. As a result, your ex-spouse could be ordered to pay additional fines and possibly go to jail. If the offending party is sent to jail, he or she will likely be put on a work-release program so that the income generated can be used to pay back any missed support.

For the most serious cases, Illinois law also provides an option for the criminal prosecution of a person who willfully fails to honor a support obligation, leaves the state to escape such an obligation, or commits repeated violations of the terms of a parenting plan. Under the Illinois Non-Support Punishment Act (750 ILCS 16), willful failure to pay child support or maintenance could lead to a misdemeanor or felony conviction, and jail time is likely.

Contact Our Joliet Divorce Order Enforcement Attorneys

If your former partner has failed to meet their legal obligations, and you would like to do something about it, contact the offices of Reeder & Brown, P.C. today. Call 815-885-5980 and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our team. We represent clients in Joliet, Bolingbrook, Plainfield, Naperville, Aurora, Mokena, Lockport, Homer Glen, Romeoville, Crest Hill, New Lenox, Will County, and the surrounding areas.

Back to Top