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Hoge Partners, PLLC
First Trust Centre
Suite 400 South

200 South Fifth Street
Louisville, Kentucky 40202
Fax:  (502) 583-1223
Phone:  (502) 583-2005

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Enforcing a Settlement Agreement

WE SETTLED AND THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT WAS MADE A PART OF THE DECREE.
HOW DO I ENFORCE OUR AGREEMENT?

You and your spouse or significant other reached a full and final settlement of your divorce or parenting issues.  That agreement was "incorporated by reference" (or made a part of) an official Order or Decree issued by the Court.

Now, one of the parties has failed or refused to comply with the terms of your agreement.

If the issue is the collection of past-due child support, see the Child Support Arrearages in Kentucky section of our website.

If the issue is something other than support (i.e., custody, visitation, parenting time, division of assets, responsibility for debts, etc.), then you will probably have to engage an attorney to represent your interests and to file a motion for contempt or for an injunction, etc.

The attorney will file an appropriate motion with the Court.  The matter will probably go on the Court's Motion Hour Docket, at which time it will be set for a hearing.  Counsel for the parties may choose to pursue mediation or other negotiation techniques in hopes of resolving the issue.   Experts may need to be employed to testify about the situation (custody evaluator, medical doctor, appraiser, etc.).  Failing a negotiated settlement, a hearing may be required to present the facts to the Court.  The parties will likely not receive a decision from the bench on the day of hearing and will probably have to wait several weeks or months (sometimes longer) to receive a decision from the court.

Appeals Process in a Nutshell

Either party will have the right to appeal the trial court's decision by filing a motion to alter, amend or vacate.  If that effort is not successful and the decision is "final and appealable", either party may be entitled to appeal to the Kentucky Court of Appeals.  If that appellate process is exhausted without an outcome acceptable to the parties, it is possible that the matter may then be appealed to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Organizational chart of the Kentucky Court of Justice

For more information on Kentucky courts, see http://courts.ky.gov/courts