Southlake Enforcement Attorney

Enforcing Court Orders

Texas courts expect parties to follow their orders. When a party chooses to violate a court order, the non-offended party has the option to file an “enforcement” case and have the offending party held in contempt.

Court Violations

Court violations are not something to take lightly. Depending on the issue, a finding of contempt can result in incarceration, probation, or a fine. When filing an enforcement case, it is important to have competent legal counsel who knows how to correctly draft an enforcement motion.

When remedies such as criminal contempt are at stake, failing to draft your enforcement motion correctly can not only result in your contempt being denied but can also prevent you from being able to present the violation to the court in the future due to double jeopardy.

Our Southlake enforcement attorneys at Mims Ballew Hollingsworth | Family Law understand the complexities of properly presenting and defending enforcement cases.

ENFORCEMENT AREAS

Property Enforcement

If you were awarded property in a final decree of divorce and your ex-spouse is not cooperating, you may need to file an enforcement case to receive your property. Property enforcements must be filed within two years of your divorce. However, if the property you were awarded was not in existence that the time of divorce, such as funds from a future home sale, then the enforcement must be filed within two years of the date the property came into existence.

In property enforcement cases, the court can enforce your property rights in any of the following ways:

If the property still exists, the court can order delivery of that specific property.
If delivery of the property is no longer an adequate remedy, the court can award you a judgment for damages against the other party.
The court can find the violating party in contempt.
You can receive attorney’s fees and costs for needing to bring the enforcement case.

Sometimes your divorce decree is not specific enough for enforcement by contempt. This does not mean you are without remedy though. Texas courts can make additional orders to effectuate your division of property and can clarify your orders so that they are enforceable by the contempt in the future. However, the court cannot modify or alter the division of property from your divorce decree.

Visitation Enforcement

If you are denied court-ordered possession of your child, you have the option to enforce this right. As with child support enforcement, you can seek to have the offending parent held in contempt, incarcerated, and fined.

Visitation enforcement cases need to be filed within six months of your child becoming an adult or the right to possession terminating. With visitation enforcement cases you can also receive make-up time with your child. If the other parent is a repeat offender and continuously denies you possession you can request that they be ordered to post a security bond with the court.

If you are seeking to enforce your possession rights it is important that you have to prove to the court that you were denied possession. One common misstep is not showing up to pick up your child when the other parent tells you that they will not allow possession. If you did not show up at the place specified in your custody order for possession exchanges you can lose your option to bring an enforcement case. Our Southlake enforcement attorneys can help you understand your rights and the evidence needed to prove enforcement violations.

Child Support Enforcement

Texas family law takes child support violations seriously. Failing to pay child support can result in jail time, wage garnishment, tax return seizure, driver’s license suspension, passport holds, freezing bank accounts, an order to pay attorney’s fees, and suspension of licenses such as medical, hunting, and fishing licenses.

There are time limitations for when a child support enforcement case may be filed. If you are seeking a contempt order, then you must file your enforcement case within two years of your child becoming an adult or the child support obligation terminating. If you miss this filing deadline you will not be able to seek contempt. However, you will still have the option of filing enforcement to confirm any child support arrears and obtain a judgment against the non-paying parent; the time limitation for doing this is extended to 10 years instead of 2 years.

If you find yourself facing an enforcement case, you have certain defenses. One defense is to present that you lacked the ability to pay the support amount, could not sell a property or raise funds to do so, attempted to unsuccessfully borrow funds, and knew of no source from where you could obtain the money. The decision to present this defense and admit not paying should be carefully weighed against asserting your fifth amendment right.

Contact our Southlake Enforcements Lawyers

The family lawyers at Mims Ballew Hollingsworth | Family Law will ensure that your case is presented properly and that your rights are protected. Call today to schedule a consultation with one of our expert attorneys.

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    817-900-8330

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      I highly recommend this law firm. I have had Brian and Kelly both represent me in now three seperate cases. They are men of integrity that are very prompt to answer questions and get back to you on important matters. They have always been well organized and stayed on top of the important information relevant to my cases. ...

      Loyd Camp
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      Timothy Alexander did an exceptional job handling my divorce case. He was extremely prepared, very informative, and he made sure I was always kept in the loop. His professionalism, guidance and empathy tremendously helped during what could have been a much more difficult time. I was so pleased with the final outcome and ...

      Donna DeTomaso
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      Highly recommend this law firm. Andrew McAlester goes above and beyond for his clients. He’s very resourceful and prompt in communication. I always refer Mr. McAlester to my family and friends in their time of need because I trust his judgement and I know he has his clients well being at the forefront of everything.

      William Hawthorne
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      Tim Alexander represented me during my divorce. His compassion, empathy and communication during the process helped keep additional stresses out of an already stressful situation.

      C Grucza
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      I highly recommend this firm. I mainly worked with Andrew McAlester. Andrew was super helpful and courteous during a very stressful situation that I found myself in. Thanks for everything!

      Dante Martinez
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      Timothy Alexander is an amazing lawyer. He helped me with everything I needed to do to get my divorce final in a very short period of time. I always try to refer to him when anybody asks for a divorce lawyer. Thank you for everything you’ve done.

      Autumn Colson
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      Kelly & Brian helped us in our child custody case and I am very pleased by their work. Our case ended up last almost 2 yrs due to COVID, however they were very easy to communicate with and constantly kept us up to date on our case and the courts. I would highly recommend them if you are needing a great custody lawyer ...

      James Homerstad
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      Mr. Alexander was the utmost professional. He was timely in his communication and very thorough in his answers. His approach helped make a difficult situation tolerable. One thing I greatly appreciated is that he did not just tell me what I wanted to hear. He would offer suggestions and allow me to make the final decisio ...

      Heather Varon
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      Kelly & Brian were amazing attorneys. I came to them when I really needed help with child custody issues, and they were committed to reaching the best possible outcome. I am writing this to express my most sincere thanks, and gratitude for their professionalism. They stuck by me through the last year in dealing with ...

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      Things happen and you need someone to tell it to you straight. Andrew McAlester is someone I trust to help me navigate through these difficult times.

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