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My ex-husband is not following something that was ordered in our divorce. What should I do?

Prince Frederick, MD |

The judge ordered that we retain our own vehicles and remove the other's name. DMV will not remove my ex-husbands name because he has an insurance fine on his vehicle. I have been waiting for 10 months for him to take care of this issue. I am moving out of state soon and will not be able to register my vehicle in the state I am moving to. What can I do? I do not have the money to retain an attorney to take him back to court.

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

I agree with the above advice. I would add, however, that the court has the power to appoint a trustee to sign on you ex-husband's behalf, if he refuses to sign. My suggestion would be to include a request for this relief in your contempt petition, with the provision that your ex be required to pay any trustee fee associated therewith. That way, if it takes you a while to get a court date (contempt petitions are usually scheduled within a 2 - 3 month time-frame in Calvert County), you have the option of having the judge appoint someone to sign for your ex, and won't have to deal with his recalcitrance and/or refusal to subsequently sign the paperwork. Keep in mind when you file that it will cost you $25.00 to reopen the case, and another $40.00 to have the Sheriff's office serve your ex (assuming he still resides in Calvert County). I suggest you leave the check for the Sheriff's office with the clerk's office when you file, they will then forward the show cause order to the Sheriff's office for you, saving you time and hassle.

Finally, the court has the power to impose jail time for certain contemptuous behavior, but you must specifically request it, and the show cause order and contempt petition must be served with specific advice of rights/warning language. You can ask about this at the clerk's office, or feel free to email me.

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This may not be what you want to hear, but the only legal option that you have is to take him back to court. The only entity with the authority to penalize him for not following the court's order is the court. You should file a petition to hold in him contempt of court. File the petition in the same case in which the divorce occurred. If granted, the court will likely hold him in contempt and impose financial penalties until he complies.