Portrait of John K Grubb

Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

4550 Post Oak Place, Suite 201 • Houston, Texas 77027-3139

Phone: 713-877-8800 • Fax: 713-877-1229

Enforce Divorce Decrees by Contempt of Court Motions

You and your ex-spouse’s divorce decree is an official court order. If either of you does not comply with its terms, you are breaking the law and can face serious consequences. Several of the more common violations are for failing to pay child support, failing to pay alimony, and failing to abide by the child custody or visitation rules that the judge in your case set. Suppose your ex-spouse violates your divorce decree on one of those grounds, what options do you have and what are the consequences for your ex-spouse?

Enforcing divorce decrees

If your ex-spouse is violating your divorce decree, you need to return to the court that issued the divorce and file a motion to enforce the divorce decree. Keep as detailed records as possible, because you will need to show what part of the decree your ex-spouse violated and how he or she did so. Additionally, when you file the motion, you will need to file a certificate of service indicating that you provided notice of your legal action to your ex-spouse.

The consequences of violating a divorce decree

If the court finds that your ex-spouse did violate the divorce decree, the court will find him or her in contempt of court. Contempt of court is a criminal charge that stems from a civil case (your divorce). Those guilty of contempt of court face financial penalties and jail time. If your ex-spouse fails to show up at a contempt hearing, the judge will issue a criminal warrant that permits police to arrest your ex-spouse.

Have you had any problems enforcing your divorce decree? How did you remedy the situation?

John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C. – Houston divorce attorneys

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