How to enforce a divorce judgment that mandates action in Maryland

by | Jul 18, 2012 | General Info | 0 comments

In divorce cases, it is typical that the judgment of divorce requires a party to take some action, such as transferring a portion of a retirement account to the other party, paying money, or transferring the title of a vehicle.  If the ex-spouse refuses to transfer the property pursuant to the judgment, there are at least 3 ways to enforce the judgment. First, a party may file a contempt action to compel the non-complying party to comply with the judgment. Secondly, a party may file a petition for the court to appoint a third-party to execute the documents necessary to effectuate the transfer at the expense of the non-complying party. See Maryland Rule 2-648(a).  Thirdly, if the non-complying party still has possession of the property, the court can seize the property to compel compliance with the judgment.   If the divorce judgment required the payment of money, the court can enter a judgment against the non-paying party. Id.   If the non-complying party has transferred the subject property to a third-party (“transferee”), then the other party may move to vacate the transfer.  The Court can issue a subpoena to the transferee.  If the court finds that the transferee had actual knowledge of the divorce judgment at the time of the transfer, the court can enforce the judgment against the transferee in the 3 ways discussed above.  Maryland Rule 2-648(b).  If the transferee did not have actual knowledge of the divorce judgment, the Court may still enter an order upon such terms and conditions as justice may require.  Id.

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