Assisting Clients across Ridgewood, Paramus, Teaneck, Hackensack, Fort Lee, and Bergen County
After the long and sometimes arduous divorce process, we hope that the agreed upon settlement which defines division of assets, alimony and spousal support, child custody, child support, and more, will be respected. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Whether it be for financial or emotional reasons, some individuals refuse to adhere to the terms of their divorce agreement. When this includes infringing upon the division of assets and/or equitable division of property, what legal recourse do you have?
At The Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys practice exclusively family and divorce law. This focus has allowed us to help our clients reach amicable and successful settlements in towns across New Jersey and Bergen County, including Paramus, Hackensack, Ridgewood, Fort Lee, and Teaneck. Lean on our decades of local legal experience to protect your legal rights and your family’s future.
Call our office today to discuss your individual needs and concerns regarding any asset division enforcement dispute in a free and confidential consultation.
Hackensack, NJ Divorce Lawyers Prove Contempt
Before any legal action is taken, we recommend trying to communicate with the offending party with the help of our Hackensack divorce attorneys. Not only might this resolve your issues in a non-intrusive manner, but if legal action becomes necessary, it also goes to show the court that you attempted to settle your disputes in good faith before taking further steps.
Being held “in contempt of court” rarely involves spending the night in jail for shouting in a courtroom, despite what TV and films may lead us to believe. The actual definition of contempt of court is when an individual:
- Deliberately and knowingly disobeys a court order
- Acts inappropriately in the courtroom
- Disrespects a sitting judge while court is in session
In this case, item number 1 could be proven if your ex-spouse is not adhering to the terms of your court ordered divorce agreement. In order to show that someone is not adhering to these court ordered terms, our Hackensack attorneys may file a “motion to enforce litigant’s rights”, which is essentially a motion to request that your ex spouse be held in contempt.
In order to successfully file a motion to hold someone in contempt, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff. It is recommended to document any and all infractions concerning the division of assets, including a list of what your ex spouse has done or has refused to do. New Jersey law also mandates that plaintiffs must formally present evidence, request for the court to enforce adherence to the agreement, a request for reimbursement of your lawyer fees, and a copy of the divorce agreement (and other relevant paperwork if applicable).
Once contempt is proven, your legal fees will often be reimbursed, and you may also be compensated in other ways for your troubles. The divorce agreement itself may even be amended to reflect the poor behavior of your ex spouse.
Ridgewood, NJ Asset Division Attorneys Petition for Injunction
Another option beyond holding your ex in contempt is to petition the court for an injunction. According to the American Bar Association, an injunction is broadly defined as “a court order, which requires parties to continue, or cease, particular actions”.
For example, if you were granted the marital home as per the divorce agreement and your ex spouse has not yet moved out in the time frame granted, you may choose to petition for an injunction to have him or her removed. If an injunction is granted, it takes effect immediately after the offender is served. The defendants may also appeal the injunction. Violation of an injunction may entail jail time, fines, and penalties owed to the plaintiff.
What if I Need to Challenge my Divorce Agreement?
On the flip side, if a property division agreement was made and you feel it is no longer fair or reasonable, what can you do in order to alter the agreement? Successfully changing your divorce agreement often times hinges on proving that a significant change in circumstances has taken place which makes the first agreement no longer tenable.
It may also be possible to show that the agreement was never up to standard, and was signed under one of the following conditions.
- Inadequate consideration
- The terms of the agreement are “unconscionable”
- Undue Influence
- Mutual mistake
- A signer was mentally unfit at the time of agreement
Contact our Hackensack, NJ Asset Division Attorneys Today
When the process of divorce is not ended with the signing of your divorce agreement, we understand the frustration that our clients must feel. The divorce and family law attorneys at Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark have built a reputation by serving clients with a compassionate, knowledgeable, and personal approach in New Jersey towns including Paramus, Ridgewood, Teaneck, Fort Lee, Hackensack and the greater Bergen County area.
Lean on our 75 + years of combined legal experience to protect you and your family’s future after divorce, whether that be through enforcing your agreement or altering an existing, untenable agreement. To speak with our team of divorce attorneys today in a free and confidential consultation, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.