The compliant spouse may file a Motion to Enforce the Order, which requires the non-compliant spouse to file or amend documents. The non-compliant spouse will have the opportunity to respond to the Motion to Enforce the Order. The judge will rule on whether the non-compliant spouse is in violation of the litigant’s rights based on the filed pleadings as well as oral argument by the parties’ attorneys. If the Court finds a party in violation of litigant’s rights, the violator will be compelled to comply with the prior order according to the judge’s order. A Court has the ability to sanction an offending spouse in a variety of ways, including monetary sanctions, and will generally award counsel fees to the moving party seeking redress. A litigant who thumbs his or her nose at a court order repeatedly may be subject to incarceration in order for the Court to obtain compliance with its orders.
Michele E. D’Onofrio is a family law attorney practicing in Warren, New Jersey.