How canI collect from my ex-husband if he has failed to pay off a debt as per court order?

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How canI collect from my ex-husband if he has failed to pay off a debt as per court order?

In our divorce decree, my ex-husband and I agreed to both pay half of 2 credit card bills. We both had a set amount to pay. That was over 10 months ago and I’ve only received one payment of $200 thus far. I’ve been paying my part and will probably end up having to pay it all, but is there a way I can get that owed to me, per our divorce decree? Do I need to sue my ex-husband in small claims court or go back to family court and file a grievance?

Asked on August 18, 2010 under Family Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You are correct: you will need to go back to court to enforce the terms of your settlement, which is a contract as between you and your Husband.  I would not say that Small Claims Court would be the proper court to do this in.  There may be different ways to handle it depending on how the decree was written.  Did your decree state that he was to pay $200 a month or was that something you agreed upon later?  Was it monthly at all or just "half"?  What you do will depend on what it says. You can bring an action for enforcement and possibly bring a contempt proceeding but how he pays depends on the order. Or pay it all and sue him for half. You could possibly obtain a judgement and garnish his salary.  Seek help.  Give your divorce attorney a call.  Good luck.


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