Enforcing orders, like custody and parent-time orders, can be challenging and complex, especially during times of disagreement or non-compliance by either parent. It is crucial for all involved parties to remember that the orders given are not mere suggestions, but legally binding directives that must be followed to ensure the well-being and of the children involved. At Christensen Law, we understand the sensitivity of these matters, and we are dedicated to helping our clients through the process of enforcing orders when necessary.

The Importance of Court Orders

Court orders related to custody and parent-time are designed to best serve the interests of the child or children involved. These orders define the rights and responsibilities of the parents, which can include living arrangements, schedules for visitation, financial support, and more.

A common misconception is the notion that custodial parents can withhold parent-time as retaliation for unpaid child support. This action not only violates the court order but potentially harms the child by depriving them of valuable time with the non-custodial parent. Similarly, a parent cannot refuse to pay child support because their parent-time is being denied by the other party.  These orders are in place to ensure that the child or children’s needs are met, regardless of the parents’ situations.

So, what should I do when court orders are not being followed?

In situations where a party is not complying with a court order, the aggrieved party has legal recourse to seek enforcement of the order, but it must be done quickly. It is a common misconception that it is in your best interest to delay legal action when there are issues enforcing orders, but that is not always the case. Delaying enforcement can signal to the court that the issue may not be of significant concern, potentially weakening your position. It is also important to note that courts typically aim to avoid assigning excessive makeup time, focusing instead on what serves the child’s best interest moving forward.

Enforcement actions include:
  • Filing a motion to enforce order: This step involves filing a motion. This motion can ask the court to enforce any part of the order that is not being complied with, whether that be child support payments, visitation, or any other provision as it relates.
  • Court review and enforcement: Upon reviewing the motion, the court may issue an enforcement order. This could include a judgement for any money owed, such as back child support, or specified makeup parent-time for visits that were wrongfully denied. The court aims to remedy the non-compliance in a way that serves the best interest of the child, or children involved.
  • Contempt of Court: In severe cases, the court may find the non-compliant party in contempt of court, which means the individual has acted in a way that disrespects or disregards the court’s authority, potentially leading to penalties such as fines, mandatory corrective actions, or even jail time, depending on the nature and the severity of the behavior.

Contact Christensen Law Today for Assistance Enforcing Orders from the Court

With over 30 years of experience in various family law matters, we understand the emotional and logistical complexities that come with custody and parent-time issues. Our experienced family law attorneys and staff will help you navigate the enforcement process, allowing you to achieve your desired outcome. But we advise you to act quickly, as it is the best way to ensure that your desired outcome becomes the the end result. You can contact us today by calling (801) 303-5800 or utilize our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Whether you need assistance filing a motion or you are seeking advice on how to protect the interests of your family, we are here to help.

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