If you have a current pending divorce or suit affecting the parent-child relationship then you most likely have temporary orders in place. If not, in most family law cases you do want to ensure that you have temporary orders granted by the Court so that you know what you should and should not be doing while the case is pending. That is, temporary orders set the status quo of your case and instruct the parties as to their rights and duties with respect to their children, property, debts, and other issues in the case. For instance, you may have been granted exclusive use of the marital residence, your vehicle, and primary possession of the children. These are all essential things to establish in a case without delay, unless you and the other party are working amicably towards a final resolution.
Enforcement of Violated Temporary Orders
Once the Court has granted the temporary orders, they are enforceable against both parties. If any portion of those orders is violated by either party, there are options. The other party may have been ordered to pay child support and they may not be doing that and you may need that support in order to survive. Or, the other party may have been ordered to participate in counseling or drug testing and they not be doing so. It might even be that the other party will not stay away from the property or give you the car you were awarded temporarily. All of these issues are concerning and when you are not getting the results from the provisions the Court put into place it can be very frustrating. But, you do have recourse. Typically, you can file an enforcement action of temporary orders asking that the wrong be corrected and asking for attorney’s fees for having to go back to Court and ask the judge to tell someone to do what they were already ordered to do. If it is a failure to pay child support, the violating party also faces possible jail time. You will have to be able to prove that the temporary orders were put in place, prove the violations, and then the burden becomes the other party’s to state why they did all of those things. Depending upon those reasons, the Court may be a little lenient upon the person. It is always a hope that the Court would at least grant your attorney’s fees for your attorney’s time to draft the enforcement and have the hearing.
What Should You Do?
If you are in a situation where the other party has violated the temporary orders in any way, do not delay in consulting with an attorney regarding this issue. You will want to address it as soon as possible to correct the issue at the outset. It might be that you file your enforcement and then the other party realizes you are serious and they will either start doing what they are supposed to be doing, refrain from what they were not supposed to be doing, or pay what they were ordered to pay. If that occurs, then you have saved a lot of money in just filing the enforcement and not having to proceed forward with the hearing. However, this occurs in a very small number of cases and unfortunately you typically have to proceed forward with the hearing and have the judge sort out the issue. Contact a family law attorney at Guest & Gray today to consult regarding your present circumstances. Guest & Gray takes cases all over the Dallas/Fort Worth area and has offices in Forney and Rockwall. We are here to help and look forward to representing you.