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Frequently Asked Questions About Enforcement

Read questions about enforcement of agreements, orders, and contempt of court—and answers from Rice Law.


Divorced now but in separation agreement, husband was to have vehicle agreement refinanced. He didn't. Am I liable?

My husband was supposed to have the vehicle that he kept, refinanced and put in his name only. It has now been 1-1/2 years and he has not refinanced it. Am I liable for any accidents, etc. It is in both our names.

We also have a line of credit on the house that he was supposed to have refinanced. He didn’t. He is now remarried and borrowing money on MY credit. That loan is also in both our names. Am I responsible for paying back this loan?

What can I do to make him get both of these refinanced and get my name off these documents? Both are state of North Carolina and divorce was April 2009.

This was stated in our separation agreement in March 2008 and uncontested divorce agreement. (Asheville, NC)

A: If the separation agreement was incorporated into your divorce judgment, file a motion to show cause him for contempt. He could be ordered to pay your attorney fees for failure to comply with the Divorce Judgment if he is held in contempt. The judge will likely give him a short time frame to do what he has already been ordered to do. But if the separation agreement was not incorporated into the divorce judgment, you will have to file a contract action for specific performance. Also, notify the bank of the fraud (using your name to apply for credit) and they may want you to press criminal charges under NC’s identity theft statute. Use an attorney. If you can’t afford one, hire a firm like ours to at least prepare the documents (this is called unbundled legal services) and then you file the documents yourself.


My ex husband is not upholding our court ordered custody. What can I do?

I moved to another state for 6 weeks. We agreed on a new visitation and child support schedule—nothing was filed in the courts, it was on a piece of paper that was merely notarized. Now, I’ve lived with that agreement for a year…paid my “dues,” it’s time to go back to reality…and he refuses. So, am I the one that has to fork out the money for my attorney to take him back to court to make him abide by our court order? (Charlotte, NC)

A: If he is in non-compliance of a court order, you can file a motion for a show cause order, get a show cause order, and he will have to appear and show cause why he should not be held in contempt. If he is held in contempt, the judge can order him to take measures to correct his behavior including an order to pay a portion or all of your attorney fees. But yes, you are the one that has to take him back to court. That is simply the way it works.

Notice & Disclaimer: These questions were posted on Avvo, Lawguru, or a similar service. Some have been slightly altered to correct grammar while others are posted intact. This information has been posted for educational and informational purposes only. You should seek help from an attorney licensed to practice divorce and family law in the State of North Carolina because the facts of your particular situation may warrant a different answer. No attorney client relationship created through the use of this Web site. Information pertains to the State of North Carolina only.