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Lawyer for Enforcement of Child Custody, Support, Alimony & Property Division

The divorce is finalized. The court has issued its order for division of property, child custody, visitation and support as well as for spousal maintenance. You think it is all behind you and you can go forward with your new life. Then, something happens. Your ex-spouse does not comply with a court order. What do you do next? Fortunately, Texas law provides a process for enforcing orders of family law courts.

Enforcement and How to Achieve It

Enforcement is a self-explanatory term. When one party violates a court order, the other party requests the court to enforce the terms of the original order. Under Texas law, the party alleging an order has been violated files a motion to “enforce any provision of a temporary or final order rendered in a suit.” The most common orders that are violated that need family law court action to enforce are:

  • Child visitation.
  • Child support.
  • Spousal maintenance.
  • Property division.

The motion for enforcement must include:

  • The specific provision of the order that was violated.
  • What conduct the former spouse engaged in that amounted to a violation of the order.
  • The specific remedy that is being requested.

If the order is for enforcing child support, the request must include:

  • The amount that is owed based on the original order, amount already paid and the amount in arrears.
  • Each date the order was violated, the amount that was due, the amount, if any, that was paid and the amount that is currently in arrears.

If the order is for enforcement of a possession provision, the motion must include the date, time and place of each violation and the circumstances surrounding the violation.

Possible Enforcement Orders

Depending on the circumstances of the case, and the original order that was violated, the enforcing court may issue any of the following orders:
The offending party must immediately turn over any property or money that was the subject of the enforcement request.

  • A judgment ordering the offending party to pay the amount of unpaid payments that were the subject of the request for the enforcement order.
  • Placement of a lien on the offender’s property until the amount in question is paid.
  • Garnishment of wages of a parent who has not paid child support.
  • To either turn over or return children from visitation at exact dates and times.
  • Civil or criminal contempt. This can include an order for incarceration, community service or a fine of up to $500.

Defending Against an Enforcement Motion

The law also allows for parties against whom an enforcement action has been filed to defend themselves against the allegations. An affirmative defense can be raised and evidence produced to prove its existence with a preponderance of the evidence.
If you are having problems with your ex-spouse complying with court orders, or have been accused of not complying with court orders and have an affirmative defense, contact enforcement attorney Jeff Anderson today. Jeff Anderson has a powerful courtroom presence and will work tirelessly to get the results you need in court. Call now to schedule a consultation.