When you have your divorce decree in hand, it can feel like you finally reached the end of a long, winding road. But even the most amicable divorce can sour if one partner refuses to comply with the terms set out in the decree.
If you live in the Pearland, TX, area and your ex-partner is violating your divorce decree, the Ramos Law Group can help. The law provides tools for the enforcement of a divorce decree to help you recover what you are owed, and we are passionate about helping those struggling with family law issues. Reach out today so one of our Pearland enforcement of orders attorneys can guide you through enforcing your divorce decree.
Orders in Divorce Decrees
Your divorce decree may include many pieces, such as:
- Spousal support,
- Property division,
- Child support, and
- Child custody.
Depending on the circumstances, you may also have a protective order for yourself or your child.
How to Request Enforcement
If your ex-partner refuses to abide by the terms of your divorce, you can ask a judge to order them to comply. When you request that a judge enforce the order, you must identify how your ex-partner violated the order and explain your preferred resolution.
Sometimes, you may request the judge declare your ex-partner in contempt of court. If the judge rules your ex-partner committed contempt, they can order six months of jail time and a fine of up to $500. The judge can also order them to cover your attorney fees and court costs.
Enforcement of Provisions Related to Children
Resolving how to care for children is often the most challenging part of a divorce. An enforcement of orders lawyer can assist when your ex-partner tries to rehash child custody or child support after the decree is finalized.,
The court treats interfering with the rights of the other parent to access their child seriously. If your partner shows up late for exchanges or tries to keep your child away from you without your consent, you can file a motion to enforce your custody order. When they repeatedly fail to comply with the terms of your custody agreement, you may also seek to modify the arrangement.
You can also file a motion to enforce a child support order. If the other party falls more than 30 days behind on payments or has repeatedly failed to pay, the court may order that the amount the person owes be withheld from their paycheck. The amount withheld can also include overdue payments with interest.
Enforcement of Provisions Unrelated to Children
Whether or not you share children with your ex-partner, your divorce likely addressed how to split shared property and whether one partner would pay the other spousal support.
Most couples have shared property. Establishing how that property will be split can be one of the most contentious aspects of a divorce. You can file a lawsuit to enforce your post-divorce property division. If necessary, the judge may authorize the police to recover your property or remove your ex-partner from a location.
Your divorce decree may also include a provision ordering one partner to pay the other spousal support, also called “maintenance” under Texas law. If your partner fails to pay the money they owe you, you can file to enforce the order. As long as the amount of support owed in the decree does not exceed the amount permitted under law, the court can hold your ex-partner in contempt for failing to pay. Your partner may avoid being found in contempt if they convince the court they cannot afford to pay.
Enforcement of Protective Orders
If your ex-partner abused you or your child, your divorce may include a protective order forbidding them from coming close to you or contacting you. Respond cautiously any time your ex-partner violates a protective order. If anyone is in immediate danger, call emergency services. Even if your ex-partner is not threatening you or your child, report their conduct to the authorities. Keep a written record of every violation of the order.
Depending on the circumstances, the state may criminally prosecute your ex-partner, or you may prosecute them in a quasi-criminal contempt proceeding.
Contact the Ramos Law Group
Negotiating the terms of a divorce decree is invariably difficult. When your ex-partner refuses to comply with the hard-fought provisions of that decree, it can feel like the divorce never truly ended. If you are struggling to get your ex-partner to cooperate with your divorce decree in the Pearland, TX, area, the Ramos Law Group can help. Led by Mary Ramos, board-certified as an expert in family law, we are committed to providing compassionate, excellent service. We offer an innovative, client-centered approach to those needing a Pearland enforcement of orders attorney. Contact us today.