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Ellen
Ellen, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 36714
Experience:  25 years of experience helping people like you.
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Hi - I am legally divorced as of 4/02 this year. My settlement

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Hi - I am legally divorced as of 4/02 this year. My settlement document obligates my now ex-husband to sign a joint tax return (filing married) for 2012. He agreed to this is the settlement document. He is now saying that he will not sign my return (for which i am entitled to receive a refund and to keep in full) unless I sign a legal document stipulating that i will never sue him for child support (he isn't paying any now - has been unemployed, so he says, for years). As far as I'm concerned, he is obligated to sign my tax return as it's in our legal settlement document. He can't just blackmail me to get out of future child support. What if he makes money at some point? My settlement document also provides for a monthly income verification review for this very purpose.

How do I get him to sign my return without having to drag him into court?
*This chat is not intended as legal advice. It is general information that may or may not apply to your situation and should not be relied upon.*

Hello,

Thank you for your question. I am a New York licensed attorney. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do whatever I can to answer your questions!

How do I get him to sign my return without having to drag him into court?

Unfortunately when a person absolutely refuses to take an action, there is no choice but to go to court. Fortunately the court system provides a simple remedy known as a contempt action

You may consider bringing a contempt action to compel your ex to adhere to the order and sign the tax return.

When a person refuses to obey a court order, that person is considered to be in contempt of court. To enforce your rights you will need to file a motion for contempt. In that motion you indicate what the orders are and how he has violated them.


You can typically pick the forms up at the clerk of the court's office and file them yourself.

The judge can then order your ex to sign the return with in X amount of days or face jail time and/or financial penalties

I would be glad to continue our conversation and respond to any follow-up questions that you may have.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your response. A few follow ups:


 


1. From the time I file a motion, how long will it take - generally speaking - to get a date to appear before a judge?


 


 


2. Once I appear before a judge and he is ordered to comply with the terms of the agreement, how long will he typically have and does he have the right to appeal the order? I;m asking for him to comply with the terms of a legal document he signed and that has been accepted by the court. Am I right to assume that he can't appeal the court's ruling that he comply with the settlement agreement?


 


3. Can I file any charges against him for tying to force me to give up future claims for child support in return for his compliance with a legal document he already signed?


 


Thanks,


Helen


 


 


 

Hello Helen,

It is my pleasure to follow up


1. From the time I file a motion, how long will it take - generally speaking - to get a date to appear before a judge?

3 or 4 weeks is typical. If you need to be heard sooner, an attorney may be able to speed the process up



 

2. Once I appear before a judge and he is ordered to comply with the terms of the agreement, how long will he typically have

This will depend upon the judge and your tax deadline. Usually I would instruct a client to bring the tax return to the hearing and ask the judge to order him to sign it immediately.

 

and does he have the right to appeal the order? I;m asking for him to comply with the terms of a legal document he signed and that has been accepted by the court. Am I right to assume that he can't appeal the court's ruling that he comply with the settlement agreement?

Yes – But keep in mind that I have not reviewed your settlement agreement so i can only tell you what is typical– that said, it typically would not be subject to appeal. The order relating to the contempt also typically would not be subject to appeal.


3. Can I file any charges against him for tying to force me to give up future claims for child support in return for his compliance with a legal document he already signed?

No

I would be glad to continue our conversation and respond to any follow-up questions that you may have.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your quick response. Two last questions:


 


1. How hard or easy is it for a lay person (myself) to file a motion? For example, when I filed my signed settlement document with the court to get it signed by the judge the paperwork was impossible for someone who is not an attorney to understand.


 


2. In which court do I need to file the motion and does it need to be with the same judge that settled my case?


 


Thanks,


Helen

Hi Helen,

1. How hard or easy is it for a lay person (myself) to file a motion? For example, when I filed my signed settlement document with the court to get it signed by the judge the paperwork was impossible for someone who is not an attorney to understand.

As legal proceedings go, a contempt proceeding ( aka an order to show cause) are fairly straight forward. Of course,it would be best to retain a local attorney. Here is a link to a free site that may assist you in locating competent legal counsel: http://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/lawyers.html

 


2. In which court do I need to file the motion and does it need to be with the same judge that settled my case?

You will need to file the action in the court/with the judge that entered the original order

If you would take a moment to click the rating tab to rate my work, I would appreciate it. My goal is EXCELLENT and I hope your rating reflects that.

 

Ellen and 5 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Helen,

Thank you for your positive rating of my service. It has been my pleasure to work with you.

I have a favor to ask of you.

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I would greatly appreciate it if you would answer "10" on this question. If for any reason you cannot answer "10" in response to question number 3, please tell me how I may further assist you.

As always, I am here to address follow-up questions at no additional charge.

Thanks again,
FiveStarLaw
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi - I'm not sure how to file this motion without the assistance of an attorney. Separate form that, given that my divorce settlements states that my ex-husband must file a joint tax return with me in 2012, do I even need to get his signature? He signed my settlement document, which is legally binding. Must I still get his signature on the actual return?


 


Thanks,


Helen

Hi Helen,

You cannot lawfully sign your ex-husband's name to the tax return. Unfortunately if you are unable to complete the forms yourself, you will need to retain local counsel or at least a local paralegal to assist you. I am not permitted to assist in completing the forms
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm not suggesting that I sign his name on the return. My question is more basic. Do I even need his signature on the tax return since I already have his agreement to file one jointly in my divorce setltement.

Yes you do need his signature on the return in order to file a joint return