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Your divorce is final: Now what?

A final divorce settlement means the end of the fighting, right? You've finally gotten what you think is reasonable and fair. Whatever the divorce settlement says is fair is what you're going to receive, right?

Unfortunately, that's not always the case. Most people, according to one financial planner, will need help to ensure that their divorce settlement is implemented properly. The follow-through is almost always placed on the now-divorced couple, but there's seldom a plan of action for getting done what has to be done. You want to avoid noncompliance, ambiguity and inaction. Here are a few of the problems that are commonly faced when it comes to implementing a divorce settlement:

-- Enforcing child support and alimony obligations

-- Ensuring child custody and parenting agreements are complied with

-- Not paying debts

-- Failing to refinance or list the family home for sale

-- Assets divided improperly

What is the answer? Do you wait and hope your ex will comply with the settlement or do you hire an attorney to make sure compliance occurs? Some exes will outright defy the settlement, as they simply feel those settlements were made to be broken.

If your ex intentionally ignores the settlement, the best thing to do is to file for contempt. Your ex will face criminal and civil penalties, which could include paying for your attorney fees and/or a fine, or even end up in jail. Your divorce decree is a legal order, after all, and it should be followed. If you find yourself in this situation, it's best to seek answers from an experienced family law attorney.

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