In a Family Law case, court orders are the “dos and don’ts” of either an agreement reached by the parties or a ruling made by the judge in court. Your court orders should clearly spell out the actions that both parties need to adhere to unless the parties agree otherwise.
The court has the authority to enforce the order if they determine that one party is not abiding by the terms set forth in your court orders. A Motion for Enforcement must be filed with the court, and is a party’s remedy when the other party is violating the terms of the orders.
Some of the most common reasons why someone may be on the receiving end of an enforcement action is the failure to pay child support, denial of visitation rights, violating injunctions, or failure to comply with property provisions in a divorce action.
The concern for many individuals is they want to fight the original court order or the enforcement action because they believe it’s no longer fair or they can no longer uphold their end of the agreement due to a change in their circumstances (e.g., job loss). You don’t want to be held in civil or criminal contempt for ignoring the order while you try to form a legal defense, though. The key is understanding how to avoid contempt of court when defending against an enforcement order.
What To Do If You Receive an Enforcement Order
If you have been served with an order to appear for an enforcement hearing, you will want to contact a family law attorney right away. You will be required to appear before a judge in Family Court to answer whether the alleged violations are valid and, if so, why you are not following the original order. You will absolutely want an attorney present to defend your position.
As soon as you are served with a Motion for Enforcement, call my office. You don’t want to get caught ignoring or disobeying a court order in any way, as the consequences can be severe. This type of court appearance is a serious affair and you will need experienced representation to support your case.
You will want to work with an attorney who is familiar with Texas Family Law and the court that you are in. You will also want an attorney who understands the complexities of your court orders, and someone who has the experience and skill to safeguard your case and defend your rights.
I exclusively practice family law and I am dedicated to helping my clients protect their rights in family law matters, including enforcements. I will provide the expertise you need to feel safe and secure when you need it the most.
What If I Can’t Follow the Court Order?
If you cannot follow the court order, call me to discuss the issue before you do anything else. You don’t want to take any abrupt actions that could damage your case. Your orders may need to be modified to account for your present circumstances if they have materially or substantially changed in any way. It is better to modify your order now than wait and allow the other party the opportunity to file an enforcement action against you.
There could be many valid reasons that your court order is no longer workable. For instance, if you lost your job and can no longer afford the court-ordered child support payments, then your child support needs to be modified immediately. Although inability to pay is a legal defense to non-payment of child support, don’t simply stop making payments and assume everything will be fine, as that could lead to serious trouble with the court in an enforcement action. Call my office to discuss your options immediately.
When you have a significant change in circumstances or feel very strongly that the original court order is no longer fair, let’s talk it through. Schedule an appointment with me right away and we can strategize what the best way for you to move forward would be.
Can’t I Fight the Court Order On My Own?
Court orders are a serious matter and can carry considerable consequences. Don’t take matters into your own hands, don’t try to fight the court on your own, and don’t ignore the order!
Keep calm, and don’t let your emotions or circumstances cause you to make a mistake that could end up costing you dearly. Enforcement actions are serious and can be complicated. Court orders are written in very precise language, with specific instructions and requirements, which must be followed in accordance with the applicable laws of the State of Texas. That’s why I recommend working with an attorney with experience and skill in dealing with enforcement of orders.
As part of your legal defense, I will help you navigate the process and ensure the best possible outcome for you and your family. As with any court proceeding, I will always advise anyone to not try and take on the court system alone. Hire an attorney you can trust and allow them to do their job so that you don’t have to worry about taking on this heavy burden yourself.
Call Blair Parker Immediately For Your Court Order Enforcement Needs
The last thing you ever want to do is ignore a court order and risk contempt of court. The penalties involved may include fines, changes to visitation rights, changes to a custody arrangement, and — in some instances — jail time. In most cases, if someone is held in contempt, the court will give them the opportunity to explain and resolve the issue before ordering more serious actions, but you don’t want to take that risk.
Furthermore, you don’t want to allow the other party to continue to violate your court orders without consequence. I can help you file a motion for enforcement and hold them accountable for their actions.
For the past nine years, I have helped families in Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, and Harris County navigate the most stressful and difficult times in their lives. I know my way around the Texas Family Law system, and I have the skills and experience to fight for you and protect your rights.
If you are faced with an enforcement order or have been accused of disobeying a court order, contact my office immediately so that we may discuss your situation and form a legal defense. Call my offices at 281-944-5485 or 979-267-7660 for support. I look forward to helping you.