Enforcement of Support/Custody

Enforcement of Child Custody and Support

Discover Your Options with a Riverside Family Law Attorney

A divorce is a legally binding contract, requiring all parties involved to adhere to the established terms. If your ex-spouse should fail to uphold a court-ordered child custody, visitation, spousal support, or child support agreement, you do not have to bear the burden alone. You can take action today to enforce the court's original decision.

At Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich, we understand that a noncompliant parent can have a negative impact on your family situation and are prepared to help you take legal action. If you find yourself in this situation, a Riverside family lawyer from our firm can offer wise legal counsel to help ensure that your agreement is enforced.

Call our office today at (951) 687-6003 to discuss your situation with an experienced attorney.

When to Enforce Court Orders

There are a number of situations that could be considered valid grounds for enforcing the terms of your divorce. In custody cases, one parent may try to move out of county or state with the child, or they may cut in on the other’s parenting or visitation time. Likewise, in child support cases, one parent may fail to pay, pay late, or pay less than the amount agreed upon. If you believe that the terms of your divorce are not being upheld, it is time to examine your case with one of our Riverside divorce lawyers.

Getting Started: Examine Your Situation

There are various ways that our firm can assist you with enforcing custody or support. First, we may look to the agreement itself. If a substantial change in circumstances has occurred since the agreement was formed, you may be able to file for a modification of your divorce agreement. By conducting a complete analysis of your agreement and current situation, we can determine the best course of action and provide helpful information so you can make the right choices moving forward.

Several questions must be addressed, including:

  • Is the agreement clearly outlined and legally sound?
  • How is your ex-spouse failing to comply?
  • Is a material change in circumstances present?

File an Action of Contempt

If necessary, an action of contempt can be filed with the court against the noncompliant parent. This can bring penalties against the violating parent if the court ordered custody agreement is continued to be willfully ignored, resulting in extensive fines and possible jail time being served. If you are considering filing for contempt of court, there are several things that should be done to improve your chances of success.

To strengthen claim, you should:

  • Document instances of the nonconforming parent’s disobedience
  • Provide the other parent notice of their noncompliance
  • Gather evidence of multiple infractions

Allowing the noncompliant parent multiple opportunities to correct their actions can help combat the possibility that they will claim ignorance of the court’s mandate. An action of contempt is not just for custody cases – it can also be used to recover child support payments. In either situation, taking proper precautions and keeping a record of violations can help ensure that court orders are enforced as soon as possible.

Collecting Child Support Payments

If you feel that you have been wronged, you can request a contempt hearing to discuss your situation in court. Enforcement actions that are commonly used to collect child support payments are:

  • Wage assignment: Your ex-spouse’s employer will withhold some of their salary or earned hourly wages for you to collect through child support payments. This is similar to a wage garnishment used by the IRS when you owe taxes.
  • Property liens: When a lien is placed on a property, any proceeds from the sale of that property will go to the lien holder first until a debt – like child support payments – are paid in full.
  • License suspension: It may be possible to suspend all licenses your ex-spouse has to their name if they willfully did not pay you child support. This includes driver’s licenses, medical professional licenses, business licenses, and more.
  • Income tax access: If your ex-spouse would collect money through an income tax return, you will be given as much of it as necessary to pay off your owed child support.
  • Benefit interception: A number of government benefits, such as unemployment or disability pay, can be intercepted and granted to you instead if your ex-spouse owes you child support payments. This also includes state-run lottery winnings.
  • Passport denial: Anyone who owes an amount of child support greater than $2,500 will have their passport locked, making it difficult to leave the country legally.

In addition to enforcement actions punishing the neglectful parent, legal penalties can be used. Refusing to pay court-ordered child support payments can constitute contempt of court violations, which will impose heavy fines and possible jail time upon the offender. This is generally a last resort, as locking up your fining your ex-spouse could only make it more difficult for them to pay you necessary support monies. If you believe that your situation involves the need for court interference, consult with a legal professional. Our lawyers are prepared to represent you at a contempt hearing and help you obtain a positive outcome.

Contact our Office Today for Results-Driven Representation

Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich has been proudly serving the citizens of Riverside for nearly two decades, helping thousands of clients along the way. If your custody situation has escalated out of control, our family law attorneys can help you get back on your feet and will make every effort to solve your dispute in the most amicable way possible. We care greatly about our clients’ wellbeing, and we would be honored to stand by your side and help make this difficult time easier.

Complete a free case evaluation today to get started towards trusted representation.