Can an order to show cause undermine a consent order?

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Can an order to show cause undermine a consent order?

I am divorcing, my soon-to-be-ex and I entered into a consent order that took effect last month. In the consent order, I retained sole possession of the property. As a courtesy, I allowed her to stay to the end of the month. It was a struggle. A day before the end of the month I was told that she does not have a place as of yet and she needs more time to find a place. I contend that I have a consent order and was told that she will file an order of cause. Can I not just have her removed by the police, keep the children for the time she says she needs, and enforce the order? Would an order to show cause negate that? Note, we both have joint physical custody of our 3 children, ages 7, 5 and 1 month.

Asked on February 1, 2019 under Family Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Do NOT try to remove her yourself, and the police will not, unless you file the proper legal action--in this case, it would be an action for ejectment--to remove her. In New Jersey, all removals from property have to be pursuant to a court order--and not just a consent order, like you describe, but a special type of court order, called a "writ" (if the person is not a rent-paying tenant) or "warrant" (if they were a tenant) which is obtainable only after filing the appropriate legal action. For tenants, that kind of action is a summary disposses or eviction case; for non-tenants, an ejectment action. 
Alternately, you could bring a motion in the family court (divorce) case and seek to have the court punish her (e.g. contempt of court) for not following the order. That puts pressure on her to leave, but does not directly remove her.
The law is somewhat technical, and a small paperwork or procedural mistake can force you to start over; you are advised to retain an attorney to help you.


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