What Is the Difference Between Motions to Enforce and Motions for Contempt?

Different Ways to Enforce Your Divorce Court Order

Court orders following divorce establish a guideline for the diffusion of the relationship to allow for a smooth transition out of marriage. They can settle matters including child support, child custody, alimony, and more. However, sometimes the existence of these orders alone isn’t enough to ensure compliance. When your spouse fails or refuses to abide by a court order, you can file a motion to enforce or a motion for contempt. Read on to understand when each is used and what they entail.

Motion to Enforce

A motion to enforce is used when a former spouse refuses to comply with court orders relating to equitable distribution, such as for property and debt division. This noncompliance could take shape in a variety of ways, including failure to pay marital debt, refinance a mortgage, or properly distribute account funds.

Florida laws protect individuals from motions for contempt in these scenarios, deeming that distributed assets and debts are immune from such punishments. A motion to enforce typically nudges the spouse to comply, but it cannot inflict any penalties.

Motion for Contempt

A motion for contempt is used when a former spouse fails to follow court orders regarding financial obligations. These are not seen as debts under Florida law, therefore opening them up to enforcement through motions for contempt.

If your former spouse is found to be in contempt, they can face hefty penalties for their failure to abide. This could include jail time, repayment of attorney and court fees, and any other relief permitted by law.

In either scenario, our lawyers will assist you in proving that an existing order is being ignored by your former spouse and will guide you through filing the appropriate motion.

If your ex-spouse fails to abide by the terms of your divorce agreement, contact the lawyers at Conti Moore Law, PLLC.