Making court orders work for you.
Court orders have a lot of authority. But at the end of the day, they do not enforce themselves.
If a court order or divorce decree has been willfully violated, it’s often up to the affected party to ask the court to enforce the order. Family court orders that can be enforced in Texas include:
- Child support orders
- Child visitation (“possession and access”) orders and parenting plans
- Child custody (“conservatorship”) orders
- Alimony (“spousal maintenance”)
- Divorce decrees
- Other divisions of assets and debts
An enforcement action – such as wage garnishment or jail time – puts the heat on the offending party to live up to their obligations. Offenders are punished until they comply with the court order.
A motion for enforcement can be challenged by the alleged offender.
If you are seeking an enforcement action, a qualified family attorney can help you write and defend a motion capable of withstanding a challenge by the other party. Similarly, if you need to challenge an enforcement action, an attorney can maximize your odds of successfully defeating the motion.
Either way, you’re going to be better off with a good family attorney. Whether you are on the plaintiff or defendant side of an enforcement action, you will need guidance to make the right decisions, adhere to court procedures, and create a plan of action that will preserve your interests.
Court order enforcement is a serious legal matter. When enforcement is on the table, the consequences of making a wrong move can be steep. If you want to make all the right moves, consider Fuentez Law.
My name is Sandra Fuentez. I am the lead family lawyer at Fuentez Law and an experienced enforcement attorney serving Harris and Montgomery Counties near Houston, Texas. As your enforcement advocate, my job is to ease your anxieties and pursue your legal goals with efficiency and justice. Am I good at my job? You bet.
Read on to learn more about my court order enforcement services for both plaintiffs and defendants.
On This Page:
Why Partner with Sandra Fuentez?
Whether you’re a plaintiff or a defendant in your enforcement case, a family lawyer can help. Here are some important reasons why Sandra Fuentez might be the right enforcement and family attorney for you. Clients at Fuentez Law enjoy:
Enforcement matters in Texas are quite complex from a legal standpoint. There are many specific rules as to what counts as a violation, what remedies are available with each one, and the various ways a motion for enforcement can fail. You need to know the relevant procedures, statutes, conventions, and case law in order to keep your case alive and achieve your legal goals.
I can help with this. I will listen to your enforcement goals and help you create a fully compliant, mindful legal strategy capable of achieving them. Together, we will execute the strategy until all proceedings are finished. Without my support, it will be more difficult for you to make a credible case, whether you’re a plaintiff or defendant.
The success of an enforcement case turns on a wide variety of statutory factors. You need to know them because making the wrong moves could jeopardize your motion or defense. Plenty of plaintiffs, for example, undermine their own case by violating an order in reaction to an initial violation, or failing to word their order with the appropriate “command” language.
As my partner, you’ll know everything you can do to keep your case beyond reproach. You will always know beforehand what you should do and say to be on the right side of the law and the judge.
In an enforcement case, the outcome often hinges on the quality of the paperwork. The way key documents like the motion for enforcement are written and presented is extremely important. The paperwork must be specific, unambiguous, and backed by evidence that is formatted according to precise rules in the Texas Family Code.
If your documentation doesn’t follow protocol, your motion or defense could fail on a technicality or be dismissed outright. It happens all the time. That’s why I offer professional composition, reviews and analysis services that meet the highest court standards. I can keep your documents clean. If there are details that could benefit your case, I’ll find them and put them to work. An enforcement case can turn on such strategic analysis.
When it comes to enforcement, the devil is in the details. Nobody wants to lose their case because their paperwork was inadequate, but many do. Hire Sandra Fuentez to avoid the problem altogether.
Fuentez Law offers the courtroom advocacy you need when an enforcement matter is on the line. My representation services can make the difference in a failed motion for enforcement and an outstanding one that does the job. Compelling advocacy will prove instrumental if the other party is able to make a convincing case for leniency.
If leniency is what you need, you can bet on my professional advocacy to put you on the best possible footing in front of the judge. I can help defendants angle for a second chance, reduced or suspended punishment, order clarification, or other remedy that minimizes their suffering while they work on compliance.
Read on to learn more about my services for both enforcement plaintiffs and defendants.
A. Services for Plaintiffs
Do you need to enforce a court order?
Enforcement can be a powerful remedy if you and your family are protected by a court order. It is the appropriate legal remedy when someone fails to obey a divorce decree or a court order for child custody, support, visitation, or spousal maintenance (a.k.a. alimony). An enforcement action often puts an offending party in contempt of court. Contempt of court is not designed to punish the offender, as much as horse them to comply with the court order.
Here are the enforcement services I offer to plaintiffs. I will:
- Offer professional advice about your options and the enforcement process
- File a motion for enforcement and order to appear with the court
- Arrange personal service of legal notice to the violator, as required by law
- Compile testimony for court appearances
- Prepare key documents such as demand letters, the motion for enforcement, and legal notice
- Represent your interests in court enforcement proceedings
- Seek compensation for court costs and attorney fees, when appropriate
- Organize an alternative dispute resolution process to avoid litigation, when applicable
- File a petition to modify the court order, when appropriate
- File an order for capias and set bond, when necessary
Texas enforcement statutes are one of the most complex areas of state law.
The rules dictate exactly what events and behaviors can be used to hold someone in contempt for a violation. These rules must be followed not only in court, but also at the time of the violation in order for your motion to hold water. For example, if you wish to enforce visitation, you must attempt to exercise your visitation rights according to protocol and properly document the denial of your visitation rights with specific dates and times.
Failure to follow the rules precisely could cause your enforcement order to be rejected by the court. This is one reason many people choose to retain an attorney already trained in the minutiae of the law. When you are experiencing a court order violation is a bad time to try to become a scholar of the finer points of Texas enforcement case law.
What Else? Important Considerations
You need to know that there are time limits on your ability to seek an enforcement remedy, ranging from 6 months to 2 years after the end of the court-ordered obligation. The statute of limitations depends on the type of court order you want to enforce.
Texas is less than generous when it comes to spousal support, commonly called ‘alimony.’ If you try to enforce an order for spousal maintenance, you may find that certain types of enforcement are not cost-effective. I can advise on whether your desired enforcement action is worth it, and what alternatives are available to you. Call for more details.
A close attorney-ally is essential if your enforcement action aims to interrupt either imminent physical harm to the child or the imminent removal of the child from the state or country. Call me as soon as possible if you suspect one of these is about to occur.
B. Services for Defendants
Are you facing an enforcement action in Harris or Montgomery County for violating a court order?
I can lend a hand, but there’s no time to waste. In Texas, ignoring or violating a court order is a Class B Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $500 per violation.
Here are the enforcement services I offer to defendants. I will:
- Offer professional advice about the enforcement process and your options for relief
- Prepare testimony for your case ahead of court proceedings
- Leverage available procedural protections on your behalf
- Seek alternative dispute resolution to avoid litigation, when applicable
- Represent your interests in court enforcement proceedings
- Seek a purge of the civil contempt finding, where possible
- Petition the court for a writ of habeas corpus or mandamus, when appropriate
- File a petition to modify the court order, when applicable
- Offer counsel on how to achieve compliance with the court order to deter further sanctions
As a defendant, you will need a competent lawyer to help you avoid the worst consequences of violating a court order. These could fines or jail time. Loss of an enforcement case can also cause you to lose ground in future co-parenting arrangements. In some cases, defendants lose their custody and visitation rights altogether.
A defendant’s best friend is a strategic and dependable attorney who can present a powerful affirmative defense to the court. You can depend on Fuentez Law for that kind of advocacy – at affordable rates to boot.
A word from enforcement ally Sandra Fuentez
When child support isn’t getting paid; when you are denied visitation of your child; when your ex is hoarding your fair share of the marital property – that’s when it’s time to get enforcement support from someone who is familiar with the problems you’re facing and knows the quickest, easiest path to resolution.
Court orders are powerful legal instruments. They represent the long arm of the law, yet they don’t always work like you want them to. If you’ve got a broken court order and possibly kids to worry about, do not take matters into your own hands. Sometimes, you need to work with the courts to restore fairness and stability. That’s what court order enforcement is all about. The same goes if you’re accused of breaking an order. Ask a lawyer for assistance. Don’t make any big moves or decisions before confiding in an attorney you trust. The earlier you get qualified counsel, the better.
Whether you’re a plaintiff, defendant, or just exploring your options, Fuentez Law can help. If you live in Harris or Montgomery County near Houston, Texas, you can call to schedule a consultation for a weekday that works for you. I will give you a bundle of accurate, updated information and useful legal advice you can use in your situation.
What about confidentiality? Your story is safe with me, no matter what. Call my office in Spring, Texas if you want to benefit from a crackerjack confidant and local legal ally with strong enforcement experience – Sandra Fuentez. I’m here to serve you.
Here’s the number: (713) 397-2278
Disclaimer | Please note that the information on this page is intended to provide a general introduction to the matters discussed. It is not a substitute for professional legal advice. For legal advice tailored to your unique situation, contact an attorney. Fuentez Law can be reached at (713) 397-2278.