What if a court order for property division is not followed?
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What if a court order for property division is not followed?

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2022 | divorce

In Pennsylvania divorce cases, property division can be a topic for dispute. This is especially true in high-asset divorce cases. If the couple was fortunate enough to have accrued significant assets through the building of a business, having been from a wealthy family, by investing wisely or through other means, divorce can be a challenge. State law requires equitable distribution of property. This does not mean equal. It means “fair.” Once the court has made its determination, the parties are expected to adhere to the order. If they do not, it is important to understand the options.

What can the court do if a party is not following the order?

When the court decides how property should be divided, the parties are expected to comply. If, for example, they owned a home and both had contributed to its purchase, its upkeep and improvements, then each side will be awarded a certain amount of its value. Not following the order can cause a dispute the court will need to address. There are many alternatives it can use to achieve a fair outcome and possibly penalize the former spouse or compel them to comply.

The court can enter judgment in the case. It can order the item itself, profits that came from it and properties taken to live up to the property division order. If there were unpaid installments, it can award interest. Property can be transferred or sold to adhere to the order. The party who violated the order can be obligated to pay security so future payments will be made. The person can be found in civil contempt and penalized with jail a possibility. It has the right to order payment to the other party for court fees and payment of counsel. And it can attach the person’s wages.

Failure to follow a court order in a divorce may require legal assistance

There are cases which are contentious with one or both parties behaving in a way that is in violation of an order. In a high-asset divorce with property division, it is imperative that the property is accurately valued and the court’s decision as to how it will be divided followed. Failure to do so tends to make the situation worse. For the party accused of wrongdoing or the one who alleges they did not get what they were entitled to, having professional assistance is key. Consulting with those experienced in complex family law may provide help.