Divorce And Court Orders: What To Know


Most people think of divorce as a single, major legal action but divorce cannot be confined to that. The issues that surround the parting of a married couple can be complicated and multi-faceted. Because of this, divorce can be thought of as several separate actions, culminating in one or more final decrees. The more money, property and minor children at play the more issues there are to contend with. Here are a few things to know about divorce and court orders. 

Orders during the divorce

The way a married couple becomes disentangled is through a series of orders signed by the judge. In some cases, the couple agrees on these orders but some of them are grounds for court battles. Some commonly-used court orders that address major areas of divorce can include:

1. Temporary and permanent child custody.

2. Child support, both during the separation and after the divorce.

3. The parenting plan, which consists of visitation arrangements for the non-custodian parent among other things.

4. Alimony (also called maintenance or spousal support) both temporary to cover the separation period and the final decree which can be either rehabilitative or permanent alimony.

5. Property orders that address who is to live in the family home and use the family car during the separation period and more permanent arrangements in the final decree.

6. Issues concerning debts. There should be a date on which the couple is no longer responsible for the other's debts. There will be final orders in the decree that divide debt up based on how the state treats debts (either community property or equitable distribution).

7. Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO) which address a particular facet of marital property, retirement accounts.

When orders are not followed

When a piece of paper is signed by the judge, it has power. Failing to follow a judge's order can lead to dire consequences and this is one reason that some divorces can become so contentious and combative. If a party goes against the judge's wishes in a divorce action it may not bode well for the final outcome of the divorce. This is known as contempt, in legal terms.

Punishments and intent

Most people are not naturally contrary enough to just willfully violate an order, so the issue of intent can play a part. The judge will consider the exact circumstances and decide to act or to just give out a warning. For example, if a parent fails to pay child support because the order was never rightfully served, the judge will take that into account before automatically sentencing a parent. Parents and spouses who are jailed due to contempt are uncommon since the best interest of a child might not be served by taking that action.

Speak to your divorce law firm like Madison Law Firm PLLC to learn more about orders and failing to obey them.  


27 June 2018

Helping Victims of Domestic Violence

My name is Laura, and I am an attorney specializing in helping clients leave violent marriages. The law can help victims be safe, but many potential clients cannot afford legal services and may be afraid to pursue divorce. They may not be aware of services that have been created to keep them hidden from violent ex-partners and to help them be awarded assets in a divorce so they can provide for themselves and their families. I hope to raise awareness of these issues as well as help direct people in danger to facilities where they can receive guidance and financial assistance.