Portrait of John K Grubb

Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

4550 Post Oak Place, Suite 201 • Houston, Texas 77027-3139

Phone: 713-877-8800 • Fax: 713-877-1229

Enforcing Property Division Following a Divorce

Whether you and your ex-spouse settle your case or resolve things at trial, at the end of your divorce, you will have a divorce decree, a legally binding court order by which both sides have to abide. If your ex-spouse fails to live up to the decree, you should work with your attorney and with the court to make your ex-spouse face the consequences.

In today’s post, we cover tangible personal property (things like cars, homes and other possessions). When an ex-spouse is refusing to comply with a divorce decree or dragging his or her feet in adhering to the decree’s terms, you can return to court and obtain help in enforcing your original divorce decree.

Deadlines concerning personal property enforcement

If the property existed at the time or your divorce and your ex-spouse is not complying with the terms of the decree, you have to file a lawsuit to enforce the decree within two years of the date that the decree became final. If you miss this deadline, you lose out altogether and cannot enforce the decree.

A similar two-year requirement applies to future property, or property that did not exist at the time of your decree, but that you anticipated and included in your divorce decree. The two years starts running once you have the right to the property or at the date the decree becomes final, whichever date is later.


The court can order that your ex-spouse take the actions specified in your divorce decree. However, in some instances, this may not be possible – for example, the property may no longer be in existence. If this is the case, a court can order that the offending spouse pay the other in cash for not complying with the divorce decree.

Losing side pays the other side’s costs

Texas family law does specify that, if a spouse has to go to court to enforce a divorce decree regarding personal property, the court can require the offending spouse to pay the other side’s costs and attorney’s fees.

Have you had to return to court after a divorce to enforce property division? How was your experience with the procedure?

John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C. – Houston divorce attorneys

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