Enforcing Court Orders

family attorneys lerandeau and lerandeau

“Enforcing Court Orders in a family law case must be approached intelligently. Despite the fact that these orders are generally not dischargeable in bankruptcy or extinguished by the passage of time, difficulties typically arise in collecting overdue payments when the delinquent party has insufficient assets or income to pay, or when he or she intentionally attempts to thwart collection by concealing assets or income. You can end up paying more money in attorney’s fees then you actually collect if you are not careful. Non-monetary obligations are enforced by a process called specific performance. Family law provides a vast array of legal mechanisms in order to enforce both of these types of obligations. Unpaid financial obligations also accrue interest at the legal rate which is currently ten percent per year.” Paul Lerandeau, Lerandeau & Lerandeau, Family Attorneys.

Enforcing Court Orders for child custody and visitation also presents some thorny issues. Violations of child custody and visitation orders constitute civil enforcement issues and are not a crime. So when you call law enforcement to intervene, it is a very low priority for them. Filing a civil contempt action against your spouse is a costly proposition and rarely results in getting the other parent to comply with the court order. While filing a motion to modify your orders for child custody and visitation may be the best choice to solve your enforcement problem, violations have to be serious enough to motivate the court to actually do something about them. Minor violations will rarely result in any significant change in the order and only serve as the basis for the other parent to ask the court for his or her own modification. Due to the many variables involved, choosing the correct course of action needs to be approached wisely.