Equitable Distribution


Based on a court order, plaintiff was ordered to pay a specific amount of money to finalize an equitable distribution case by July 1, 2009. This amount was to be distributed after defendant vacated the marital home per the court order on June 1, 2009 so that plaintiff could list the house for sale. Defendant vacated the home on June 1st, as orderd, however, on July 1st, 2009, plaintiff only deposited 1/3 of the ordered amount into defendant’s account. Plaintiff then deposited 1/3 of the amount into their attorney’s trust account and sent a letter to defendant stating he would only release the 1/3 in the trust account if defendant agreed to sign off saying that the remaining 1/3 did not have to be paid to defendant and that plaintiff used that 1/3 to ready the house for sale (i.e. repainting rooms that plaintiff and defendant had painted within 12 months of the date of this action). Defendant has refused to agree to this, and has currently only recieved 1/3 of the ordered amount. Plaintiff has enjoyed the fruits of defendant complying with the order to vacate by June 1st during all this time. With the basic background info, my question is can plaintiff be ordered to release the funds currently in the trust account to defendant pending the outcome of a contempt motion involving the remaining funds?


Plaintiff is in contempt of a court order and cannot unilaterally withhold any of the funds and should pay as ordered.


Do I have any recourse to make him release the funds that are currently held in trust while we await the outcome of the contempt motion that still has not been calendared after all this time due to the fact that he conveniently has an excuse that he is always unavailable due to his own court schedule?


Your recourse is to file a motion for contempt and have the court order the release of the funds, and the payment of the remaining money.


Thank you for your reply, and I have filed this motion already. However, due to the fact that he is an attorney in our district (who had an affair with another attorney in our district) and a special judge is required due to these circumstances, it seems to be taking an astronomically long time for a judge to be assigned to hear it, which is putting me in a financial bind in the interim. Is there anything that I can do to expedite this to trial?


Unfortunately no, the county will have to wait until a disinterested (unbiased) judge is available.