Q: What happens if my ex doesn't follow the separation agreement that is part of the final orders in our divorce decree?
In Colorado, my ex agreed in the separation agreement to pay me half of the mortgage since his name is on the house too. The separation agreement is part of the final orders of our divorce decree. Now he's saying he's not going to pay it. Isn't that a violation of a court order, and can I put in a motion to the court for contempt?
If your final orders say that he is to pay 1/2 of the mortgage and he is not doing so, then yes, that is a violation of the orders. Yes, you can file a motion for contempt.
Remember that when you file contempt you need to be able to prove 4 main elements: 1) there was an order requiring the person to do the thing you say they did not do, 2) that person knew about the order, 3) that person did not comply with the order, and 4) that person had the ability to comply with the order. In most situations, the first 3 are pretty easy to prove. That last one is where most of the battle usually is.
If you have it in writing from him that he's refusing to pay, you want to be sure to preserve that. It will be helpful to you in court to show his own words refusing to pay. This can be presented whether it's a text, email, letter, or note on the back of an envelope. Remember, you need to bring a hard copy. You cannot simply show the judge the text on your phone. The judge will likely decline to accept it into evidence because to do so, they would have to confiscate your phone. When you do your screenshot of the text (in preparation for printing a hard copy), be sure you have the date and time of the text, as well as who it was from included. It is also beneficial to include the whole conversation, so if you asked about it and it is his response, it is best to give the court your question and his response as well. If the conversation goes on for several more texts, it is best to include that as well.
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