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Consequences of ignoring an order following a family law dispute

For most people, a court order or judge's decision marks some sort of conclusion in a legal conflict. For others, it can be the beginning of a new set of worries, this time related to the other party's compliance with the order. Many Alberta individuals in the midst of a family law dispute may wonder what consequences might exist should the other party neglect to follow a family court order.

If a spouse is handed a court order and does not follow it, the compliant spouse must bring the breach to the court's attention. This can be a significant financial burden to the spouse raising the issue, as the breach may be related to failure to pay support. It also may start a new legal process that can mean more steps prior to receiving payment.

If this follow up results in a finding that a spouse has indeed neglected the order, courts typically penalize that individual financially. The hope is that this will motivate the spouse to comply. However, in some instances issues like bankruptcy, time spent in jail, or co-existing legal issues can result in payments continuing to be in arrears.

Financial circumstances do need to be considered by the court in each case. If those circumstances change between the time of the order and any follow up hearings about neglecting the order, this may impact the decision of the court. An Alberta lawyer can help people facing this situation understand their options, as well as providing guidance early on to avoid issues with following orders that may follow a family law dispute.

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