Once a divorce has been finalized, there is a legal obligation placed upon both parties to follow the conditions provided by the order of the court. But should one party fail to adhere to their responsibilities, what recourse does the other party have to address the situation?
The legal proceeding which acts as a response to an ex-spouse not following the court conditions of a divorce is called an “enforcement.” Through enforcement proceedings, the court can address an assortment of issues in regard to family law. These issues may include visitation, child support or alimony, which is also known as “maintenance.”
If, through the enforcement proceedings, the court finds that one party has indeed not been following court orders, then that party may be found in contempt. Should this happen, the judge may issue as punishment a fine, a jail sentence or both.
Enforcement through contempt requires that the court use very specific terminology, known as “command language,” to make sure there is no mistaking what is being ordered. In a child support case for example, the court order should contain precise language in regard to such details as the amount paid, when payment is scheduled to begin and end, who is to receive payment, and the location where payment is made.
Life subsequent to divorce is rife with challenges, especially if there are children involved. These challenges are made all the more difficult if one of the former spouses refuses to meet their court ordered responsibilities.
If spousal support is not forthcoming, then the household budget of a custodial parent could be put under great strain. Should there be undue interference with visitation rights, then the relationship a non-custodial parent has with their child can be irreparably damaged.
If you’re having problems with a former spouse who is not following the conditions of the divorce, a Texas divorce attorney might be able to assist you in pursuing the matter in a manner appropriate to your situation.