Joan recently asked us, "During a divorce, what is the point of temporary orders if the orders are not enforceable without costing the person who wants them enforced additional legal fees?". Our answer is below.
Enforcing Temporary Orders in a Texas Divorce
The divorce process can be both emotionally and financially devastating, and you may need the court to issue temporary orders along the way. Such orders can be especially useful in helping you navigate the path toward divorce, but if your soon-to-be-ex does not abide by the orders, it can make things that much more difficult for you. (Read more about enforcing temporary orders)
Common Reasons for Temporary Orders
A variety of issues can arise throughout the divorce process, but there are several matters that commonly require temporary orders. Any of these issues can have a significant effect on you and your children’s lives during the divorce process (Read more about helping your children through divorce). If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement on these critical matters, the court can issue temporary orders that determine how you will proceed until your divorce is finalized.
Your children’s temporary custody arrangements
Temporary arrangements related to parenting time or visitation
Temporary child support
Temporary spousal maintenance
The distribution of marital property that takes place before the divorce is finalized – for example, selling the marital home (and division of the proceeds).
When Your Spouse Ignores Temporary Orders
You have obtained temporary orders, but your spouse is not complying and makes an already difficult situation that much more burdensome for you. Unfortunately, you will have to turn again to the court and request a Motion to Enforce. Such a motion requests that the judge provide you with a specific relief, which can include one or more of several orders:
To hold your spouse in contempt of court for violating the original order
To compel your spouse to comply with the terms of the original order
To oblige your spouse to compensate you for any losses you have incurred as a result of his or her failure to abide by the original order, including the attendant court costs and legal fees
To oblige your spouse to provide you with any other relief that is determined to be appropriate under the specific circumstances
The Burden of Enforcement
If your divorcing spouse does not comply with the temporary orders issued by the court, the burden is on you to request that the court addresses the situation. This means that you will face additional work, time, and legal costs in your effort. While it is far from fair, all is not lost. The court does not look favorably on parties who fail to comply with temporary orders that it has issued, and this noncompliance will not go unnoticed when the court determines your final divorce decree.
If Your Spouse Is Not Complying with Temporary Orders, You Need a Central Texas Family Law Attorney
If your divorcing spouse refuses to comply with the court’s temporary orders, it makes things that much more difficult for you. It is important to remember, however, that – although the burden of enforcing compliance is on you – the court has mechanisms in place to help rectify the situation. Attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Central Texas has the experience, skill, and dedication to help, so please contact or call us at (254) 220-4225 today.