What if I don’t want to comply with a Court Order?

This is an issue which arises in many cases. From doing exchanges of financial disclosures, to doing driving for parenting time, there are many issues which Judges decide and put into court orders that the parties are not happy about. However, court orders MUST be followed. So, if something is in a court order, it needs to be done, otherwise a non-compliant person could be subject to contempt proceedings, sanctions, attorney’s fees and even jail to coerce their compliance with the court order.

If there is an unfavorable order entered by a Judge which was not an agreement between two parties, within the requisite statutory time constraints, one can file a Motion to Reconsider and/or a Notice of Appeal. The motion to reconsider must point out an error in application of law, newly discovered evidence or another reason for a Judge to “change their mind”. And, it must be filed timely. It should not be filed simply when someone doesn’t like the Judge’s decision. An appeal, again, will be subject to a standard of review by the reviewing court and cannot be filed just because someone doesn’t like a decision.

If the time has passed in which an Appeal or a Motion to Consider can be filed, one can also consider filing a Motion to Modify. The reasons a court can modify a court order completely depend on what sort of order it is. Some orders are not modifiable until there is a substantial change in circumstances, or until a certain period of time has elapsed.

A court order should never go unfollowed. One should always petition to modify, vacate, reconsider or otherwise dispose of the order in lieu of disregarding it, to avoid very severe penalities.

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