Sometimes dissolution of marriage continues much longer and is more stressful than anticipated because one spouse refuses to follow the rules. In cases where an ex refuses to follow court-ordered property division, there are things you can do to help make sure the order gets enforced.
Enforcing Property Division in a Divorce
If your ex-spouse isn’t following the property division orders set out by the court, you’ll need to go back to the same court to have the order enforced. You’ll file a lawsuit asking the court to enforce the order. The lawsuit won’t ask the court to change the original order or your divorce decree in any way; it will just ask the court to specify how the property should be divided.
As with other legal actions, the other party must receive notice. Then, they’ll need to respond or risk getting a default judgment made against them.
Timeline: When Can I Ask the Court to Enforce a Property Division Order?
You’ll need to wait at least 30 days after the court-ordered property division before asking the court to enforce it. But, don’t wait too long. There is a two-year statute of limitations on these claims. That means that you must file your lawsuit within two years of the date that the court issued the original order. (Of course, talk with a lawyer about your situation, even if you worry that the statute of limitations has passed. It’s better to be safe than sorry!)
Remedies: What Can the Court Do?
Perhaps the ex-spouse isn’t following the property division order because the order is unclear, so asking the court to clarify the order is a good starting point. If the motion to clarify does not result in the desired outcome, you can file a motion for the delivery of property.
If your ex-spouse still refuses to comply with the property division order, your lawyer can file a motion for contempt. Courts can order money damages and even have your ex-spouse sent to jail if they are found to be in contempt of court. The court can also force your ex-spouse to pay your court costs and attorney’s fees.
Get Help With Property Division Enforcement. Contact an Attorney.
Divorce is stressful enough, even when both spouses play by the rules. It’s important to have an experienced attorney on your side. If you need legal help with enforcing a property division order, you can start by calling the Arlington office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 817-799-7125
. Our Texas divorce lawyers are here to support you.
“How many years do you need to be married before courts will order alimony in a divorce?”
It’s a common question that many people ask, especially when they face the end of a long-term marriage. The truth is that when a marriage ends, the assets that formerly supported one household must now be divided to support two. This can leave many divorcees worried that things might not add up.
Questions about alimony—otherwise known as spousal support or spousal maintenance—often arise as a way to address apparent inequities.
Texas Spousal Maintenance Law
In Texas, courts can order spousal maintenance during the dissolution of marriage or in a separate legal proceeding specifically seeking maintenance. Courts may order spousal maintenance when two requirements are met. The first is that the spouse seeking maintenance will lack sufficient property after the divorce to meet that spouse’s “minimum reasonable needs.”
The second requirement can be one of a few different things (like domestic violence in specific situations, or that the receiving spouse takes care of the couple’s child with a physical or mental disability). The second requirement can also be that the spouse seeking maintenance has been married to the other spouse for 10 years or longerand lacks the ability to earn sufficient income to provide for the spouse’s minimum reasonable needs.
So, generally and without other important circumstances involved, a person must be married 10 years or longer before courts will order spousal maintenance in a Texas divorce.
A Longer Marriage Can Mean That Payments Continue for a Longer Time
What’s more, the length of the marriage is a factor that courts consider when they decide how much spousal maintenance to order and how long the payments should continue. The law specifically outlines that, unless the spouse’s ability to earn an income is otherwise limited:
Payments cannot continue for more than five years if the marriage was shorter than 10 years
Payments cannot continue for more than five years if the marriage was between 10 and 20
Payments cannot continue for more than seven years if the marriage was between 20 and 30
Payments cannot continue for more than 10 years if the marriage was 30 years or more
Talk With an Attorney About Spousal Support
Of course, the law is very detailed, and a blog post can’t tell you everything you need to know in your case. The only way to get answers that apply specifically to your situation is to talk with a lawyer. If you’d like help sorting out legal issues related to spousal support and divorce, start by calling the Arlington office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 817-799-7125
. Consultations with our attorneys are confidential.
At the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., in Fort Worth, we often hear from people who waited years before they divorced. They knew that the marriage wasn’t working a long time ago, but they tried to make it work. Sometimes, it was for the kids. Other times, it was due to financial insecurity or fear of what their families or friends might think.
While there is no right time to file for divorce, we can tell you this: Divorce is a personal decision. We have handled divorces between young couples who were married for only a short time. We have also handled gray divorces between couples who spent years and raised children together.
You’ll have to look for the signs and listen to your gut in order to decide what’s right for you. Sometimes, talking with a professional—like a lawyer or a therapist—can help you sort out your concerns. A professional can answer your legal questions, help you sort out your financial concerns and the emotions involved.
Look for the Signs That It Might Be Time to Divorce
If you’re wondering whether it’s time to leave your spouse, it’s a good idea to look for some telltale signs, including:
You’ve already started to make divorce plans. You might not be ready to admit it to yourself yet, but when you’re arranging things so that it would be easier to divorce, it’s a clear sign that you may be ready. Separating your financial lives, interviewing for a new job and doing research on the Internet are all things that people do when they know in their hearts the marriage isn’t working.
You’re feeling fearful. When you live in fear of your spouse’s temper, or when your spouse takes abusive actions, it’s a clear sign that it’s time to go. Many spouses live in fear for months or even years before they decide to leave a marriage. It can start to seem like things that would otherwise be unheard of are normal.
You always argue, or you never do. Arguing all the time can be a sign that it’s time to divorce, especially when you find yourself doing things to provoke your spouse. But, not arguing at all can also be a sign that a marriage isn’t working. Sometimes, when spouses stonewall each other, it can be more detrimental to the marriage than yelling.
Need Advice About Your Divorce Decision? Ask a Lawyer.
If you aren’t sure whether you want a divorce, talking with an attorney can help bring you clarity. The consultation is confidential, so your spouse will never know you had the conversation. And there’s no pressure to act unless and until you’re ready.
At the Ft. Worth office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., our attorneys can answer your questions and help you understand what the process and future might look like if you moved forward with a divorce. Call 817-755-1852
to talk with us about your situation.