How do you petition the court to enforce provisions of a final divorce decree?

UPDATED: Dec 6, 2011

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How do you petition the court to enforce provisions of a final divorce decree?

My ex is filing for a new trial with the same judge that approved our divorce. I have responded to his motion for a new trial but want to know if I can include a paragraph in the response asking for the judge to enforce the decree as well as its provisions, or if I need to file a separate “Petition to Enforce”. He is mentally abusive and if I file contempt charges, I am unsure of whether or not he will become physical, but I would like to make it clear that he needs to do what he said he would do.

Asked on December 6, 2011 under Family Law, Tennessee


Hong Shen / Roberts Law Group

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, a motion for a new trial will request the judge to set aside or overturn previous judgment on grounds such as newly discovered evidence. Meaning, there must be a judicial error in the previous order. If the judge grants the motion for a new trial, the previous order is automatically stayed pending the new trial. In such a case you cannot enforce the previous order. The motion for new trial, however, can be on one or all issues in the previous trial. If the motion is specific on some issues, the other issues in the previous trial still stand and you can enforce them.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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