Enforcement of Domestic Order

Failure of a party to abide by the terms of a Temporary Order, Parenting Plan, or Decree in a divorce proceeding may result in contempt.  Despite the potential consequences, one or both parties may engage in conduct (or fail to take action) in violation of a Temporary Order, Parenting Plan or Decree.  Sometimes the violation is unintentional.  Other times it might be intentional.  Whatever the circumstance, the attorneys at Farr Kaufman are experienced in helping with enforcement issues in divorce matters.

Violations often involve failure to pay child support or to allow proper parent-time (visitation).  It is important to note that parent time and child support payments cannot be withheld from either party. This is true regardless of whether the other party has failed to pay court ordered child support or to allow court ordered parent time.

The procedural vehicle used to bring enforcement issues to the court’s attention is called a motion for an Order to Show Cause.  As part of the motion, the moving party must submit a supporting statement of facts showing the ways in which the other party has failed to obey the court order.  A hearing will usually be scheduled, and the other party will be required to appear in court and “show cause” why they should not be held in contempt.  The responding party is also afforded an opportunity to submit a written response to the allegations prior to the hearing.  Depending on the allegations, the judge may allow evidence to be presented at the hearing by “proffer” or by witness examination.

The court will enter an order after the hearing.  If the judge finds that a violation has occurred, the enforcement order may state money owed or an increase in parent time for either party. In some cases, a party may be held in contempt, which may include a fine or jail time.  The violating party may also be required to pay the other party’s attorney fees.

The family law attorneys at Farr Kaufman are experienced in dealing with enforcement of the terms in a Divorce Decree or Parenting Plan.  Contact an attorney today to schedule a consultation.