Enforcement

Enforcement of Possession and Access
Oftentimes, a parent, for one reason or another, stops abiding by the visitation schedule laid out in a Final Decree or Final Order.  When a parent fails to abide by the Court Order and denies the other parent his or her visitation rights, the “innocent” parent may file a Motion for Enforcement, which is a quasi-criminal proceeding, and request from the court that stiff penalties be imposed upon the “guilty” parent.  Those penalties include, but are not limited to, jail time, a fine, court costs, and attorney’s fees.  Because of the criminal nature of this type of lawsuit and the potential deprivation of one’s liberty (jail time), the Motion must be drafted with extreme care and attention to detail.

Each situation is unique, and many times there are viable defenses to a Motion for Enforcement, but, generally speaking, courts do not look kindly upon parents who blatantly disregard a court Order.  Therefore, if the other parent is engaging in bad behavior and denying you the right to see your child, you have a strong legal remedy at your disposal, but you need an attorney who thoroughly understands the complex nature of these proceedings.  Sadly, with some parents, the only way to make them follow the rules is to have a judge find them in contempt of court and throw them in jail.

Conversely, if you have been served with a Motion for Enforcement, you are undoubtedly concerned that you may go to jail or be made to pay the other party’s attorney’s fees or both. It might be that you have a viable defense under the law.  If you are facing this type of serious lawsuit, I urge you to call me at (281) 207-1101 for a consultation wherein I will explain your legal rights and give you an honest assessment of your case.

Enforcement of Child Support
Oftentimes, a parent, for one reason or another, stops paying child support, providing health insurance or reimbursing for uninsured medical expenses.  When a parent fails to abide by their legal duty,  the “innocent” parent may file a Motion for Enforcement, which is a quasi-criminal proceeding, and request from the court that stiff penalties be imposed upon the “guilty” parent.  Those penalties include, but are not limited to, jail time, a fine, court costs, and attorney’s fees.  Because of the criminal nature of this type of lawsuit and the potential deprivation of one’s liberty (jail time), the Motion must be drafted with extreme care and attention to detail.

Each situation is unique, and many times there are viable defenses to a Motion for Enforcement, but, generally speaking, courts do not look kindly upon parents who blatantly disregard a court Order.  Therefore, if the other parent has failed to pay child support, provide health insurance or reimburse you for uninsured medical expenses, you can file a Motion for Enforcement, but you need an attorney who thoroughly understands the complex nature of these proceedings.

Conversely, if you have been served with a Motion for Enforcement, you are undoubtedly concerned that you may go to jail or be ordered to pay the other party’s attorney’s fees or both. It might be that you have a viable defense under the law; therefore, if you are facing this type of serious lawsuit, I urge you to call me at (281) 207-1101 for a consultation wherein I will explain your legal rights and give you an honest assessment of your case.

Enforcement of Property Division
If your ex-spouse has failed to comply with the terms of your property division in your Final Decree of Divorce, you may be eligible to file a Petition for Enforcement.  In Texas, we have specific rules as to what a court can do in these cases, some of which are time-sensitive.  In some cases, if the divorce decree awarded specific property to you that existed at the time of divorce and the other spouse failed to surrender it to you, then the court could find the “guilty” spouse in contempt and throw them in jail.  In other cases, the Court may exercise a different option, such as specifying in more detail the manner in which a spouse should comply with the terms of the divorce decree.  Every situation is different and the facts can be very nuanced, so if you have any questions about your legal options, call today at (281) 207-1101 for a confidential consultation.  I look forward to hearing about the exact nature of your situation and providing an honest assessment of your legal options.