When parents separate, either by divorce or breakup, it is incredibly stressful for each person involved. And, the stress often does not automatically go away just because a marriage or relationship ends. Hurt feelings and hardship can still linger or even increase well after your divorce or court case is finalized.
When you run into the problem where your ex-spouse or the other parent isn’t holding up their end of the bargain according to the divorce decree or court order, the situation can become even more tense. You may feel helpless and alone, but I assure you, you’re not.
I’m often asked what can be done about an ex-spouse or other parent who refuses to uphold things outlined in the court order, such as court-ordered child support, denying visitation rights, or other issues. With my years of family law experience, I can help your fight back to protect your rights. Let’s take a good look at how to enforce a court order in Texas.
Common Reasons Why an Ex-Spouse or the Other Parent Is Not Cooperating
There are many reasons why your ex-spouse or the other parent may not comply with a court order. One of the most important reasons is that the ex-spouse or the other parent knows that by saying just the right things or acting in a certain way, they will push your buttons. They simply want you to remain upset as a means to control your feelings or achieve some other objective.
Your ex-spouse or the other parent might also be trying to goad you into giving them attention. They are intentionally attempting to solicit a reaction from you on social media or directly via phone or email so that they can record it for their uses in a future court action.
Revenge is another simple but very basic human reason for violating a court order. Your ex-spouse or the other parent may simply want to make you suffer for whatever reason. This type of retribution can include denial of visitation rights, refusal to pay child support, and many other things. It’s advised that you be extremely careful in these situations.
If someone is willing to ignore a court order just to upset you, you need to remain calm. Consult with an experienced family law attorney who can help you deal with the situation in the right way.
What to Do if Talking to Your Ex-Spouse or the Other Parent Doesn’t Work
If your prior relationship is what would be described as “toxic,” it’s very wise to keep your distance. It can be quite dangerous to confront an ex-spouse or the other parent, and it may be hard to tell if they are leading you into a trap.
If they are treating you so badly as to deny you visitation with your child, or refuse to pay any type of child support, don’t let them get the best of you. Let the law take over.
When you have exhausted all options to get your ex-spouse to cooperate peacefully and amicably, then it’s time to get the Texas Family Court involved. The court can intervene to enforce the original court order and utilize the following options to achieve a proper resolution.
1. Withhold Wages. The spouse that refuses to pay child support can have their wages deducted directly from their paycheck, whether they agree to it or not.
2. Driver’s License Suspension. Texas Family Code 232 allows for the suspension of an ex-spouses driver’s license if they refuse to pay their share of child support or haven’t paid for at least three months.
3. Public Identification of Delinquent Offenders. If the ex-spouse owes more than $5,000 in back child support, they will be publicly identified with their picture displayed on different websites. They could also have an arrest warrant issued along with other penalties.
4. Being Found in Contempt. Texas Family Code 157 captures the penalty for denying child visitation, refusing to pay child support, or other intentional violations of court orders. In addition to being held in contempt of court, the violator could be fined and or imprisoned for failure to uphold their part of the original court order.
A Family Law Attorney Can Help Enforce the Court Order
When trying to work with an uncooperative ex-spouse, the key is to remain calm. Remember that you have the law on your side. Let me handle your case so that you don’t have to worry about getting caught up in another draining battle.
Over the past decade, I have focused exclusively on family law so that I can help clients in Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, and Harris County arrive at the best possible outcome for their family legal situation.
When you need legal support with the enforcement of a court order, call me right away so that we can start working toward the resolution that you deserve. Call my offices at 281-944-5485 or 979-267-7660 to discuss your situation. I’ll work hard to protect your court-ordered rights.