Enforcing Court Orders in Maine
When one party fails to comply with the terms of an order regarding parental rights responsibility or divorce, the other party may take action against them. Often, the first step in resolving post judgment issues involves directly contacting the noncompliant party. If this is not an option or if it has already been attempted with no results, the court gives the other party several options. The first option most people turn to is filing a motion to enforce. This type of motion requests the court issue an order to the other party instructing them to comply with the original order.
Motions to enforce can be used in situations where one party is not paying spousal support or child support, not turning over property after divorce, not complying with the visitations schedule or any other term of a separation or parental rights and responsibilities order.
A motion to enforce is recommended before resorting to a filing a motion for contempt for several reasons. First of all, it involves less paperwork and the legal process to obtain one is easier. In many cases, a motion to enforce can be effective and further action will not be needed. Additionally, obtaining a motion to enforce does not always require a formal hearing and the process tends to be quicker than taking any other type of action.
Obtaining a Motion to Enforce In Maine
The first step in obtaining a motion to enforce is getting the necessary paperwork from the courts and paying the necessary fees. The paperwork will need the petitioner to specify what order and, specifically, what terms of the order are not being followed. Next, the petitioner must serve a copy of the forms to the other party and provide the court with proof that they received it.
The petitionee will have 20 days to respond to the motion. If they fail to respond, the court assumes that they agree to the motion and the judge may rule by default to enforce the motion. If a response is filed within 20 days, the judge will usually order both parties to attend mediation or a formal court hearing. If mediation is ordered, a court hearing may still be scheduled if an agreement cannot be reached during the mediation.
At a formal hearing, both parties must present before the judge and argue their side of the case. After hearing all the information, the judge will make a final ruling. If either party is unhappy with the ruling, they have 21 days to file an appeal. If a motion to enforce is granted but does not produce results, the petitioner may then look into filing a motion for contempt.
Family Law Attorney in Portland
If you are facing an issue regarding noncompliance of a parental rights and responsibilities or divorce agreement, contact WTB Law right away. An attorney can help you understand your rights and better explain your options. Call us now to get started.