Contempt is disobedience to Court Order. What do you do when the other party is in contempt?
It is disappointing and tasking when your child’s other parent refuses to follow the court’s order on access and visitation. When such situation arises, there are solutions.
How do you enforce the court’s order when the other parent fails to follow through? First, we define enforcement. This is a court proceeding that forces a disobedient person to obey its order. Otherwise, they are in contempt of the judge’s ruling. These types of proceedings apply to:
a. Child visitation
b. Child custody (conservatorship)
c. spousal maintenance
d. child support
e. any other order signed by the judge addressing property division
Here are tips:
- First, get a copy of the court order, if you do not have one with you. You may request it from the clerk of the court where the case was adjudicated/decided.
- Next, review the order (and underline/highlight) what provisions or clauses the other parent is disobeying. For example, if they are not paying the amount for child support, underline it.
- Then you file a motion to enforce order.
- During the proceeding, the judge will look at the language in the order. He or she may fine or send the party in contempt to jail – or both. However, if the command language does not specify or is not clear – so the other party knows exactly what they did wrong, then the judge will simply clarify the language.
- Lastly, the judge will make his or her ruling.
Please note that in a case of divorce, not all obligations are debts. Therefore, you need to consult with an attorney who will review the court order with you, assist with your filings, and advocate for your interest in the courtroom.
Our Texas family attorneys are ready to help and provide a free evaluation of your case.