Print Friendly HOUSE BILL NO. 588 – Divorce decree/repeat noncompliance
HOUSE BILL NO. 588
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H0588.........................................................by JONES (20)
DIVORCE DECREE - NONCOMPLIANCE - Adds to existing law to provide procedure
for persons required for a third time in three years to seek the assistance
of the court in enforcing the terms of a divorce decree regarding child
custody or child support because of the repeated refusal or failure of the
former spouse to comply with the terms of the decree.
02/02 House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
02/03 Rpt prt - to Jud
|||| LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ||||
Fifty-fourth Legislature Second Regular Session - 1998
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
HOUSE BILL NO. 588
BY JONES (20)
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO DIVORCE; AMENDING CHAPTER 7, TITLE 32, IDAHO CODE, BY THE ADDITION
3 OF A NEW SECTION 32-720, IDAHO CODE, TO PROVIDE A SELF-HELP PROCEDURE FOR
4 PERSONS REQUIRED FOR A THIRD TIME IN THREE YEARS TO SEEK THE ASSISTANCE OF
5 THE COURT IN ENFORCING THE TERMS OF A DIVORCE DECREE REGARDING CHILD CUS-
6 TODY OR CHILD SUPPORT BECAUSE OF THE REPEATED REFUSAL OR FAILURE OF THE
7 FORMER SPOUSE TO SATISFY THE TERMS OF THE DECREE.
8 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
9 SECTION 1. That Chapter 7, Title 32, Idaho Code, be, and the same is
10 hereby amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION , to be
11 known and designated as Section 32-720, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
12 32-720. SELF-HELP FOR REPEATED NONCOMPLIANCE WITH DIVORCE DECREE. (1) Any
13 person who seeks the assistance of the court in enforcing the terms of a
14 divorce decree regarding child custody or child support because of the
15 repeated intentional refusal or failure of the former spouse to satisfy the
16 terms of the divorce decree, may file the request with the court of the inten-
17 tional refusal or failure and may at that time request a hearing by the court.
18 A party may seek the assistance of the court in this manner even if the party
19 is or has been represented by an attorney. The request shall:
20 (a) Be notarized;
21 (b) Contain a copy of the divorce decree;
22 (c) Inform the court of the terms of the decree that are the subject of
23 the dispute;
24 (d) Inform the court of the nature of the refusals or failures to satisfy
25 the decree;
26 (e) The dates upon which the court ordered the actions which the former
27 spouse has refused or failed to perform;
28 (f) The names and addresses of the parties;
29 (g) Whether the parties are represented by attorneys and, if so, the
30 names and addresses of the attorneys.
31 (2) The request shall be filed with the court with copies delivered to
32 the offending party and the attorneys of record, if any.
33 (3) (a) After receiving the letter, the court shall hold a hearing to
34 determine whether the allegations in the letter are supported by the pre-
35 ponderance of evidence. If the court finds that the allegations are sup-
36 ported by the evidence, the court:
37 (i) Shall order that the decree be enforced;
38 (ii) Shall order the offending party to pay costs and reasonable
39 attorney's fees, if any, incurred by the party;
40 (iii) May find the offending party to be in contempt of court and may
41 impose a fine of up to five hundred dollars ($500) and/or incarcerate
42 for up to six (6) months in the county jail.
43 (b) If the court finds that the allegations are frivolous or unfounded by
1 the evidence, the court may at its discretion and upon a motion order the
2 party who originally sought relief to pay costs and reasonable attorney's
3 fees, if any, of the other party.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
This bill would provide a self-help procedure for persons with
former spouses who repeatedly refuse to satisfy the terms of a
divorce decree. It is intended to provide a remedy for the problem
encountered by an innocent former spouse who, in order to
regarding maintenance, child custody and child must repeatedly
seek the court's help. Often, attorney fees
associated with repeated attempts at court
enforcement wipe out any amount ultimately gained from the former
spouse. The bill would allow a person, whether or not represented
by an attorney, to send a notarized letter to the court, with
details regarding the divorce decree, to seek a hearing and
enforcement of the terms of the decree. The losing party may be
liable for costs and reasonable attorney fees of the other party.
This bill would result in a significant financial savings to an
undetermined number of divorced individuals in the state. This
bill might increase the frequency with which courts address
enforcement of divorce decrees, but does not directly require any
additional expenditure of state funds.
Rep. Jim Jones 332-1000
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE
Bill No. H 588