Arkansas Divorce Guide

Enforcement

In addition to enforcing custody and Enforce court ordersvisitation (see custody and visitation sections), there are other common ways that divorce and separation decrees get violated, which include failure to pay debts, failure to divide retirement accounts, and failure to list property for sale.

Temporary orders from a court in this state can be issued enforcing an out of state custody or visitation order. The order remains in effect until it expires or an order is obtained from the other court.

Temporary Order of Protection

An order may be granted as an ex parte order (without the other party’s presence) when a petition alleges immediate and present danger of domestic abuse if it finds sufficient evidence to support the petition. The court may provide the following relief:

  • Exclude the abusing party from the dwelling that the parties share or from the residence of the petitioner or victim
  • Exclude the abusing party from the place of business or employment, school, or other location of the petitioner or victim
  • Award temporary custody or establish temporary visitation rights with regard to minor children of the parties
  • Order temporary support for minor children or a spouse, with such support to be enforced in the manner prescribed by law for other child support and alimony awards
  • Prohibit the abusing party directly or through an agent from contacting the petitioner or victim except under specific conditions named in the order; and
  • Prohibit the abusing party directly or t hrough an agent from contacting the petitioner or victim except under specific conditions named in the order; and
  • Order such other relief as the court considers necessary or appropriate for the protection of a family or household member

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The relief may include without limitation enjoining and restraining the abusing party from doing, attempting to do, or threatening to do an act injuring, mistreating, molesting, or harassing the petitioner.

An ex parte temporary order of protection is effective until the date of the hearing.

Failure to pay debts ordered by the court

When the court assigns responsibility to pay debt arising from the marriage, it is the duty of that person to do so. If your spouse fails to pay that debt, you can file a motion or order to show cause for contempt. If found guilty, your spouse faces fines, penalties or even jail time. The court will frequently give the defendant another chance to pay the debt, and if there is no good reason for the failure, the court will impose penalties.

If those penalties (which can include jail time) do not get your spouse to pay, the court can seize other property your ex owns and sell that to settle the debt(s).

Failure to divide retirement accounts

As part of a normal division of property in a divorce, courts will order a division of retirements assets, using an order called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). The order is specific to particular assets and their division. If your spouse interferes with the division, or if the QDRO received by the plan administer is ignored, or not performed, the court can hold either or both in contempt of court and order the asset manager to execute the order.

Failure to sell the marital home when ordered

The court may direct one party to sell the home and distribute the proceeds in a specific manner. If your spouse refuses, the court can appoint an agent to sell the property and distribute the proceeds. If you have proof in writing that you have repeatedly asked your ex to list the home without it being listed, the court can award you legal fees out of the proceeds of the sale.

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