Divorce is a formal process that dissolves your marriage and splits up both assets and parental authority between former spouses. Typically, all initial rulings become temporary orders, while the final decree sets more permanent arrangements for custody, child support and even alimony.
The courts issue these expectations and rules via a court order because family law issues often become contentious and require enforcement. Whether your ex isn’t paying their fair share of child support or if they have refused to allow you to spend time with your children, you may need to ask the state of Texas to step up and enforce the custody or support orders from your divorce.
What do enforcement efforts usually look like?
For child support arrears, the most common and basic enforcement effort is to provide written notice to the parent who has not paid their support on time or info. If they still refuse to pay or do not have grounds to modify the current level of support to something they can manage, the state can take additional steps ranging from denying them licenses and passports to garnishing their wages or even issuing a bench warrant.
When it comes to custody orders, the parents usually ask for enforcement from the domestic relations office (DRO), which usually looks for amicable resolutions first. Although the DRO can hold someone in contempt for violating custody orders, they can’t modify the existing custody order. If you want to make changes because of the contempt, you will have to request a modification hearing.
Documenting the lack of support or parenting time is usually the first step toward seeking enforcement action by the state.