In our property agreement, I was to receive 40% of my “X’s” settlement. She’s deposited the payment and is avoiding paying me. What can I do?

UPDATED: Jun 10, 2009

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In our property agreement, I was to receive 40% of my “X’s” settlement. She’s deposited the payment and is avoiding paying me. What can I do?

The settlement was resolved on 15 Apr 09, and she has admitted that the check she received has been deposited. She, to date, has shown me no proof of the amount and has made a string of excuses on why she has not abided by our mutually agreed upon property settlement. She has stated that she plans on moving to South Carolina later this summer. We are currently in Virginia. What can I do? What happens if she moves out of state and this is unresolved?

Asked on June 10, 2009 under Family Law, Virginia


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

When a court issues a divorce order or other family law order, it is more than a recommendation or general guideline. Court orders, including divorce orders, child support orders and child custody orders, must be followed.

In most states, if your ex-spouse has refused to comply with the provisions of a divorce decree, or other related agreement (ie property settlement agreement), you can file a motion asking the court to hold your ex-spouse in contempt of court.  When a person refuses or fails to comply with the provisions of a court order, they can face severe penalties, including financial penalties and even jail time.

You should act on this sooner than later. You need to consult with an attroeny in your area.  Once she moves out of state you still have rights but enforcing them will be that much more complicated and expensive.


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