Anderson & Boback Logo

Enforcing your Judgment

Categorized as Divorce Litigation

After obtaining a Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage, parties sometimes have issues with one party not following the Judgment. This is a very frustrating problem and can often leave the party following the Judgment feeling helpless. However, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides methods of enforcing your Judgment. Section 511 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides that a judgment for dissolution of marriage may be enforced by order of Court pursuant to a petition. This means that, in order to enforce a judgment, the party seeking to enforce the judgment must file a petition. To enforce a judgment, parties will file a petition to hold the party not complying with the Judgment in contempt.

Contempt can be either criminal or civil, and either direct or indirect. Criminal contempt asks the court to punish past misconduct, whereas civil contempt asks the court to compel the party to follow the Judgment. Direct contempt only applies to the party’s misconduct that is witnessed by the Judge. Therefore, contempt is only direct if it occurs in Court. Indirect contempt applies to behavior that occurs outside of the Court’s presence. Because the end goal is to enforce the Judgment and this conduct typically happens outside the presence of the Judge, parties most commonly ask the court to force the party to comply with the order by holding the party in indirect civil contempt.

In order to find the party not following the Judgment in indirect civil contempt, the court must find that the party is able to comply with the Judgment. If the party is able to comply with the Judgment but is willfully not complying, the Court may find the party in indirect civil contempt. Once the Court finds the party in indirect civil contempt, the party must be given the opportunity to comply with the Judgment prior to being incarcerated. For example, if the parties’ judgment requires one spouse to tender proof of his taxes to the other, but the party fails to do so, the Court would likely order that party to simply tender the tax returns to the other party prior to incarcerating the party. If the party fails to tender the tax returns after being ordered to do so, then that party can be incarcerated for a failure to comply with the Judgment. If your ex-spouse is failing to comply with the terms of your Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage, please feel free to contact our office for a consultation.

Was this information helpful?

You May Also Like

Maintenance, formerly known as alimony, is a relief granted to a party in a dissolution of marriage case that equitably restores to the party a standard of living to which they became acclimated during the marriage.  For spouses going through…

Visitation interference occurs when the custodial parent in some way interferes with your ability to spend parenting time with your child or visit with them.  In Illinois, a parent has a couple of options when the other parent interferes with…

We receive inquiries regularly from parents of children in Illinois regarding whether or not they can remove their child from the state of Illinois when they are estranged from their child’s other parent.  The answer varies, depending on different situations.…

People often are confused about the difference between a Civil Union and a Domestic Partnership, and what their rights are if their partner, to whom they are not married, leaves them or predeceases them.  This blog is designed to explain…

One of the most hot-button terms in parenting cases in Cook County is “alienation”, meaning that one parent is actively seeking to keep the child from having a relationship with their other parents. The current laws on parenting favor both…

In Illinois, there are two main ways to go about changing your minor child’s name: by agreement, and by Court adjudication of the issue.  As with all things related to co-parenting a minor child, the easiest and least costly method…

Anderson & Boback small logo

Download our Divorce Planning Guide today!

Get the information you need to prepare for divorce with our free resource Guide to Planning for Your Divorce.

What our clients are saying

Schedule a Discreet Consultation Today!

    Firm Overview

    Anderson & Boback is a highly-respected, experienced Chicago family law firm, skilled in negotiation and litigation. When divorce and other family law issues make your life chaotic and uncertain, you want your case resolved as quickly and fairly as possible. Call Now 312-715-0870