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How do I enforce a divorce decree that requires the other party to pay medical bills?

Canton, GA |

My divorce decree states that I have 30 days from receipt of bill to request payment from the other party. The other party has 30 days from receipt of bill to reimburse.

But how can I enforce this when I have sent my ex-husband copies of the bills/receipts and he has made no attempt to pay the bills?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Once the bills reach an amount that matters, simply call your lawyer (the one who handled your divorce will already have your file) and ask them to file a contempt for you.

    If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at geaatl@msn.com . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.


  2. You can file a motion to determine the amount owed and request that you enforce it although how much is the bill? It might be more prudent to give it some time. It could be that the person wil pay you eventually.

    You are welcome to call Ms. Johns' offices for a free or low cost consultation at (866) 402-4038. Please note that Ms. Johns is a lawyer although she is not your lawyer unless you have signed a written fee or letter agreement confirming her office's representation of you. This email does not otherwise constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship.


  3. The only way to enforce a family court order is to file a Rule to Show Cause in the family court and ask the judge to hold the other party in contempt of court. That is the only way to enforce the order. Your attorney can handle this for you but I agree that you should wait until it is an amount that matters and you can demand payment by certified mail so you can prove to the court that the other party actually received your demand for payment.

    This answer is for general advice. It is not legal advice and does not create an attorney client relationship. For legal advice you have to retain your own attorney.


  4. You would file a Motion for Contempt. You would need show the the Court bills, your payment and the notice where the bills were submitted to the other party. Normally the Court will require the non-paying party to reimburse your attorneys fees for brining the motion for contempt. You may contact my office for a consultation.


  5. It is generally a good idea to wait until the bills reach a point that it makes sense to pursue the contempt. Once they have reached that point, then an attorney can help you file and pursue the contempt. I typically recommend that we review your divorce decree at that point to include any other issues for which he may be in contempt. For example, if he is behind on child support or not following the custody provisions, it is better to handle all those issues at one time, instead of having to go back to court numerous times.

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