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Enforcement

Dallas Fort Worth Attorneys Representing Parents in Family Law Matters

When parents end a relationship, they must determine a co-parenting plan that is in the best interest of the child. In many cases, a court will decide an arrangement that is appropriate and will set forth each parent's rights and obligations with regard to custody and support in an order. Not all parents comply with court orders, however, and parents who disregard court-imposed duties can cause difficulties for their co-parents and deprive them of their parental rights. If your co-parent refuses to comply with a custody order or fails to pay you the child support that you are owed, you can seek recourse. The Dallas Fort Worth family law attorneys at Powell Law Offices are proficient in assisting parties who are seeking to enforce court orders. We represent parents in enforcement matters in Dallas and Tarrant Counties.

Actions for Enforcement

In Texas, a person may file a motion for enforcement in a child support or custody matter, asking the court to enforce provisions of any temporary or final order. The motion must set forth in clear terms the provision of the order that was purportedly violated and the manner in which the violation occurred. The motion must also set forth the relief requested by the person filing the motion, and it must be signed by the person filing the motion or the person’s attorney. The parent seeking enforcement can ask the court to hold the responding parent in contempt. If the court finds the parent to have acted in contempt, it may sentence them to jail time.

Enforcement of a Child Support Obligation

Raising a child is expensive, and many people cannot afford to do it alone. Thus, in many instances in which a couple shares custody of a child, the court will impose an obligation on one parent to make child support payments to the other parent. Sadly, not all parents comply with their duties, and in some cases, it becomes necessary to take legal measures to enforce a child support obligation.

A parent who files a motion to enforce a child support obligation must advise the court of the amount that the parent obligated to pay support must pay under the order, the amount that the obligor parent actually paid, and the amount of money that is overdue. In addition to ordering a parent to pay the amount owed or finding a parent in contempt, there are other measures that can be taken by the State Attorney General to enforce a child support obligation. For example, the Attorney General can file a lien against any assets or property owned by the parent who owes support or suspend the parent’s driver’s license. The Attorney General also can intercept the parent’s federal income tax return or require the parent’s employer to withhold a portion of the parent’s wages to meet the support obligation.

Enforcement of a Child Custody Order

A parent can file a motion for enforcement if his or her co-parent refuses to comply with an order regarding conservatorship and possession, which are the terms that Texas uses for legal custody and physical custody, respectively. It is important to note that for an order regarding conservatorship and possession to be enforceable, it must be specific, clear, and unambiguous regarding the obligations of the parent who allegedly violated the order. Thus, an order merely stating that conservatorship and possession will be divided as agreed by the parties is likely to be difficult to enforce. If the order is sufficiently specific, the motion seeking enforcement must set forth the place, the date, and (if applicable) the time of the responding parent’s violation. The parent can indicate if past violations have occurred or if future violations are likely to occur.

Hire an Experienced Dallas Fort Worth Attorney to Assert Your Rights

If your co-parent failed to meet court-imposed child support obligations or comply with a custody order, it is important to act promptly to protect your rights and the rights of your child. The assertive family lawyers at Powell Law Offices have the skills and experience needed to assist you in seeking enforcement of a child custody or support order. We have two offices in Grapevine and McKinney, and we regularly assist people in enforcement matters in Dallas Fort Worth and in other cities in Dallas and Tarrant Counties. We can be reached at 972-584-9382 or through the online form to set up a free appointment.