Property division can be a highly contentious issue in a divorce, right behind child custody. Unless previously decided by a prenup, the property division is likely to be handled by the court. When faced with the dilemma of your ex not giving you your property in the divorce, it is frustrating but also a violation of the court’s order.
Once a divorce has been signed by the judge, both parties must abide by whatever was ordered by the court. This includes turning over the property in divorce that was requested and/or ordered in the decree.
Property In Divorce
Marital property is anything that was purchased or otherwise acquired by the parties during the marriage, with some exceptions. Anything acquired prior to marriage is generally considered the separate property of the individual owner.
If one party fails to abide by the orders in the decree, he or she can be held in contempt of court for violating the court’s order. This can be any asset that was part of the marital estate: land, real estate, a vacation home, or any other valuable property included in the divorce division.
Motion Of Enforcement
Under Texas Family Code 9.001(c), 9.006, and 9.007, you can file a motion of enforcement to request that the court enforce the terms of the property division in your divorce decree. While this motion will require your ex to turn over the property, it doesn’t change anything in the original property division of the decree. The judge cannot sign the motion until at least 30 days after the divorce decree is signed.
You have two years from the date of the original divorce decree to file the motion of enforcement.
If the petition does not clearly spell out exactly what property is to be turned over, either party can request a clarifying order that details the property to be delivered. A clarifying order can be requested prior to or alongside a motion for contempt, and the judge will make clear what each party is to receive.
If the party still fails to deliver the awarded property after a clarifying order, the judge may order them to deliver the property to you, called a “turnover order.”
Should the party ignore the turnover order, the judge can award a money judgment. Additionally, you can work with your divorce attorney to file a motion for contempt of court against the other party. You can ask the court to award monies for court costs, attorney’s fees, and other expenses related to the litigation.
Tarrant County’s Compassionate Divorce Attorney
Since 2001, Wendy L. Hart has been helping people in the Fort Worth area with various family law issues, including divorce. She represents both men and women, including child support, child custody/visitation, estate, and other family law matters. As a divorcee herself, she understands what’s involved when a relationship breaks down.
If divorce is in your future, we’re ready to help. Call us at (817) 842-2336 or use our online contact form to schedule your virtual consultation or appointment. We serve clients throughout the Fort Worth Area.