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Enforcement of Agreements

Attorney Helps You Enforce Court Orders and Agreements

Enforcing alimony and child support orders in West Chester

If your ex-spouse has fallen behind on child support or alimony payments, the effect on your finances can be devastating. Catherine H. Voit is a former prosecutor in family court with more than 25 years of courtroom experience. While she always takes a reasonable approach to family law cases, you can count on her to aggressively protect your interests when your former spouse has violated a court order or agreement.

Enforcement of property settlement agreements

Property settlement agreements (PSAs) are generally incorporated in the divorce decree and thus become a binding court order. If your spouse is not abiding by the terms, you can file a petition with the court. The petition must state how your former spouse violated the agreement — for example, failure to make mortgage payments or refusal to transfer title to a vehicle. Your ex-spouse will be given an opportunity to tell his or her side of the story at a court hearing.

Pennsylvania courts will enforce the terms of a PSA unless the other party proves fraud, a lack of voluntary consent, or substantially changed circumstances. If the court finds your spouse violated the agreement, the judge will issue a contempt judgment and may also take steps to ensure compliance, including garnishing wages or attaching property. Willful and repeated violations of court orders can result in jail time.

Violation of custody arrangements

Issues with child custody and visitation arrangements may arise when the custodial parent plans to move out of Chester County or cancels scheduled visits, or when the noncustodial parent refuses to return the child. A contempt of court proceeding is one of the most common ways to enforce a custody or visitation order. If the court finds the order was violated, potential sanctions include:

  • Imprisonment for a period of not more than six months
  • A fine of not more than $500
  • Probation for not more than six months
  • Driver license suspension
  • Attorney’s fees and costs

When you need an experienced lawyer to protect the interests of you and your children, Catherine H. Voit fights tenaciously for you.

Failure to pay alimony

Post-divorce disputes often revolve around unpaid spousal support. If the court determines that your ex-spouse failed to make alimony payments, Pennsylvania law provides a number of remedies, including:

  • Attachment of property
  • Garnishment of up to 50 percent of wages
  • Interest on unpaid alimony
  • Security deposit to ensure future payments
  • Up to six months in jail, for willful noncompliance
  • Attorney’s fees and costs

West Chester divorce attorney Catherine H. Voit represents spouses seeking to enforce alimony agreements. As a skilled negotiator and litigator, she is well-equipped to obtain the payments you are entitled to.

Nonpayment of child support

The enforcement of child support orders is a priority in Pennsylvania. The state tracks child support payments through the Pennsylvania Automated Child Support Enforcement System (PACSES). The state’s Bureau of State Child Support Enforcement can garnish wages to collect past-due child support.

The custodial parent can also go to court to enforce a child support order. If the court determines that the noncustodial parent has the ability to pay and failed to do so, that parent will be held in contempt. Available sanctions include property liens, driver license suspension and seizure of tax refunds. West Chester family law attorney Catherine H. Voit can help you collect past-due child support payments.

Contact an experienced family lawyer in West Chester

Disputes don’t always end when the marriage does. If you need assistance enforcing a divorce settlement agreement or court order, Catherine H. Voit can help. To discuss your problem, call Catherine today at 484.881.3185 or contact her online. Evening and early morning appointments are available upon request.

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