What to do if ex is not complyingwith acourtorder?

UPDATED: Oct 7, 2011

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What to do if ex is not complyingwith acourtorder?

I went to court to get my child support and spousal support adjusted. He got served but but did not show up to court. The hearing went forth and the final judgement was that he has to pay me back the amount of $5,700 in over payed child support and $5,700 in owed spousal support. He is ordered to pay the arrears of $11,400 at $300 per month and continue until paid in full. My spousal support is $2,000 per month. I had the new order served to him and filed the order after hearing with the court. I called him and he said that he is not paying anything and he is saying that he was not properly served. However, it took me 4 month to serve him the first set of documents. I hired the sheriff’s department, a processing company and friends to do the service. My total expenses were $250, just on serving him. Is that a valid reason to not follow orders? What should my next move be?

Asked on October 7, 2011 under Family Law, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The issue with service is very important.  It has to do with notice to the respondent - your husband - and his being given ample opportunity to appear and defend himself against your allegations.  The court was obviously satisfied with your service upon him in the original proceeding as they rendered a decision on the matter. He was what is known as in "default" and you obtained an order upon default.  Now, if you were awarded a judgement and you had the judgement properly served upon him - also important - then you have the ability to collect on the judgement in any manner that your state permits: garnishment or wages, etc.  So in answer to your question yes, if he is not properly served he can contest the resulting order and compliance.  But it seems that you did everything properly.  So now try and collect.  Good luck. 

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