When a relationship ends, there are many things to figure out. You have to decide what to do with shared property, how to care for children, and whether one person will continue to support the other. Protection against your ex-partner may also be necessary for yourself or someone you love.
Sometimes, your ex-partner fails or refuses to comply with court orders. The Ramos Law Group, PLLC, is here to help when that happens, whether by taking your ex-partner to court or negotiating to encourage their compliance. Led by board-certified family law expert Mary Ramos, we are passionate about providing excellent, compassionate service. If you live in The Woodlands, TX area, reach out to see how a The Woodlands enforcement of orders lawyer can help you.
Divorce and Separation
No two couples have the same road to separation. Some common factors may affect what court orders you need, including:
- How long you were together;
- Whether you share children;
- What property you share;
- Whether one partner primarily worked out of the home while the other managed the home; and
- Whether there was a history of family violence in the relationship.
Even if you parted on amicable terms, splitting apart requires time and work as you adjust to a new life. If your ex-partner interferes with your new life by failing or refusing to follow the terms of your court order, you have options.
Your ex-partner not complying can be frustrating and may leave you feeling powerless. Contacting an enforcement of orders attorney can help you take power back. If your ex-partner fails or refuses to comply and your attempts to encourage compliance do not work, you can ask the court for help. You need to explain:
- What order your ex-partner violated;
- How they violated it; and
- How you would like to see the issue resolved.
Depending on how cooperative your ex-partner is with court intervention, the judge may hold them in contempt of court. If the judge concludes your ex-partner committed contempt, the judge may order your partner:
- Spend up to six months in jail;
- Pay up to a $500 fine; or
- Pay for your court costs and attorney fees.
The filing process for enforcement of a divorce decree depends on the underlying order your ex-partner violated.
When You Share Children
It is especially frustrating when your ex-partner fails to respect the rules you agreed to about how to care for your children post-separation.
Although some schedule changes are inevitable in any shared-time parenting plan, your ex-partner cannot interfere with your time with your child. If your ex-partner keeps your child away from you, regularly delays drop-off times, or changes plans without your approval, you may ask the court to enforce the order.
When one parent has primary physical custody, the other usually pays child support. You can request court intervention if they fall behind or refuse to pay. Should your ex-partner be uncooperative in paying child support, the court may find them in contempt or garnish their wages. Garnished wages cover overdue amounts as well as ongoing obligations.
When You Share Property
Couples usually share property, and deciding how to split it when you separate may inspire conflict. When your ex-partner refuses to deliver personal property or vacate property that is rightfully yours, you can sue to enforce the property division. You must file the lawsuit within two years of when you gained the exclusive right to the property.
When You Receive Spousal Support
When one partner primarily worked and the other mainly managed the home, your separation may include spousal support payments. You can request court intervention if your ex-partner falls behind or refuses to pay. As with child support, you can ask the court to hold your ex-partner in contempt or to garnish their wages.
When You Have a Protective Order
If your relationship experienced family violence, whether that violence was directed toward you or another family member, your separation may include a protective order. Call the police if your ex-partner violates your protective order. Law enforcement may arrest your ex-partner and criminally prosecute them. If the state does not prosecute them, you may still be able to request the court hold them in contempt.
If you believe you may be unable to comply with an order, be proactive. Should your ex-partner be amenable, you may be able to negotiate a modification. Then, you both ask the court to modify your order.
If your ex-partner is not amenable, you can usually ask the court to modify the order. You cannot modify the property agreement, and only the person who benefits from a protective order can change it. However, if you want to change your child custody, child support, or spousal support arrangements, you must prove your circumstances have “materially and substantially changed” since the order went into effect.
Contact the Ramos Law Group, PLLC
Separating from your partner is hard enough. When they drag the separation out, failing or refusing to comply with orders having the force of law, you can feel powerless. With a passionate, experienced attorney by your side, you can take your power back. The Ramos Law Group, PLLC, is dedicated to assisting our clients through tumultuous times and helping them get to the other side, standing tall. If you live in The Woodlands, TX area, contact us today to learn how a The Woodlands Enforcement of Orders Lawyer can help.