How to Enforce a Divorce Decree Without an Attorney 

If you want to enforce your divorce decree, but don’t have the resources to hire an attorney, you can file for enforcement yourself. There are three main steps you must take. These are filing a Notice of Entry of Order, filing a motion to enforce the decree, and seizing the other party’s property. This article will walk you through each of these steps step-by-step. Read on to learn how to enforce a divorce decree without an attorney.

(Family Law Missoula Attorneys at S. DeBoer Attorney at Law are committed to helping you face your family legal matters with expert legal assistance.)

Documenting your ex’s failure to comply with a divorce decree 

If you and your ex cannot agree on anything, it can be tough to enforce your divorce decree without the help of an attorney. If you’re not sure where to start, you can use written communications and documents to paint a picture of what’s happening. If you have specific instances of violations, you can document those in a court document. In this way, your ex will have something to judge upon. 

The first step is filing a motion with the court for contempt. You’ll have to list all the violations your ex has committed and ask the judge to impose sanctions against them, such as fines or jail time. You can also seek to have your attorney reimburse you for all your legal fees. Lastly, you should send all documents to your ex by certified mail. Make sure your ex signs them before they can receive them. 

Filing a motion to enforce a divorce decree 

Filing a motion to enforce a marriage dissolution decree without an attorney is not an easy task. However, it is not impossible either. There are several ways you can go about doing it. You can discuss the options with your lawyer and decide which way to go. If you have the right experience, you may be able to succeed in the enforcement of your divorce decree. Below are some of the steps you must take. 

Before you file your motion, make sure to have a copy of the original order and your divorce decree. Attach a copy of the motion. You should sign a certification paper prepared by your attorney. If necessary, you can make specific requests. You can also enclose your divorce decree in case your ex refuses to comply. The court will not be sympathetic to an ex who does not follow the court’s order. If your ex is not compliant, you may end up paying their legal fees and even going to jail for contempt. 

Seizing your ex’s property 

If you cannot afford an attorney, you can pursue your ex’s property for the amount you owe him or her. A writ of attachment enables you to seize your ex’s physical or personal property for the amount you owe him or her. A receiver is appointed to collect the debt, and the property will be sold or used to pay it. You should be aware that seizing your ex’s property can result in jail time or losing your job. 

Moreover, it is possible to enforce an alimony award against your ex’s property. While this option is not as common as wage garnishment, it is still available in certain situations. Although you cannot seize your ex’s primary residence or valuable personal property, you can obtain the writ to seize your ex’s property to pay off alimony. If you cannot get a favorable agreement from your ex, the threat of arrest and jail time will be enough to compel him or her to pay. 

Getting a divorce decree without an attorney 

If you want to get a divorce decree, but do not have an attorney, you can apply for it yourself. The state office responsible for keeping vital records like marriage licenses and divorce decrees will usually have a copy of the decree in their files. However, some states restrict access to divorce decrees and certificates by requiring the applicants to present government-issued identification. To avoid this, it may be better to hire an attorney. 

A contested divorce requires detailed information and may require several trips to the Supreme Court. In such cases, you should have a lawyer represent you. If you cannot afford a divorce attorney, you may consider divorce mediation or collaborative family law instead. For the process, you will have to fill out a form known as a Statement of Net Worth, which is a court-required document. It lists information about your finances, assets, and debts. At this stage, the judge will ask the couple questions regarding the forms, but will not audit or provide legal advice.