No one enjoys going to court, but in family law, it’s a common outcome. Even people with the simplest of divorces have to go through the proper legal process. Unfortunately, not all cases are simple. Even if you and your former spouse remain amicable, Texas courts will often issue orders related to child custody, alimony, child support, and other important issues. If you find yourself in a situation where your former partner isn’t abiding by a court order — or if you need help changing such an order — an enforcements and modifications lawyer in Houston may be able to help.
At Von Dohlen Law Firm, we have extensive experience in the complexities of family law. We understand that not everything is as simple as one might hope. That’s why we strive to simplify these matters as much as possible for our clients. In some instances, this means helping them reach an agreeable solution with their former spouse. In other situations, it may mean presenting the facts to a judge to justify a change to an existing court order. Whatever your needs may be, Houston family lawyers can help you better understand your rights and how to best move forward. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
How to Seek a Modification for Court Orders
Getting a modification of spousal support, child custody, or any other court order requires approval from a judge. Fortunately, this can be as uncomplicated as filing the appropriate paperwork with local courts. An experienced attorney can simplify this process and ensure all your metaphorical ducks are in a row, and if you and a former partner are in agreement on an issue, it’s possible that a modification request could be approved with minimal hurdles.
If your request is contested, however, you’ll need to provide evidence to the court supporting your appeal. For instance, parents who had to take a lower-paying job could show that modifications of child support orders are appropriate. A person could also request a change in child custody based on the fact that a custodial parent is no longer fit to raise their child. Unless you and your former spouse have agreed to a modification, it’s often necessary to show that a material change affecting court orders has occurred.
How Can You Enforce a Child Support Order?
When clients pursue court orders for child support, it’s often because they need the financial assistance of the other parent. Unfortunately, it can become quite burdensome when that parent refuses to uphold their obligations. If you find yourself in such a situation, you can request help from the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). Unfortunately, this office will only help with child support enforcement actions — not with issues such as visitation and custody.
Since the scope of the (OAG) is limited, you may be better served by getting the help of an enforcement lawyer in Houston. By going through the courts rather than the OAG, you can seek remedies for refusal to pay court-ordered child support and failure to abide by any other court orders. Additionally, an attorney may be able to help you reach a solution with your former partner that avoids court altogether.
Do You Have to Pay Child Support if You Lost Your Job?
Average child support payments in Texas are higher than half of all other states in America. This is understandable since 20% of wages paid to a non-custodial parent must go directly to support arrangements. However, what happens if something changes and you can no longer make payments at the same level? This was a major issue during the COVID-19 pandemic, but a significant life change can affect a person’s ability to pay at any time.
If you fall into this category, it’s imperative that you not unilaterally modify or cease your payments. This can lead to a child support enforcement action. The correct approach is to seek a modification to the court order. This will go far more smoothly if you and the other parent can reach an agreement, but this isn’t mandatory for seeking relief from your current financial obligations. Let a Houston enforcements and modifications lawyer at Von Dohlen Law Firm help.
How Can You Enforce a Child Custody Order?
When a child custody order is issued, it’s meant to protect the family law rights of everyone involved. If the other parent willfully refuses to abide by custody or visitation orders, there are various remedies available. In most cases, seeking legal help and going through the courts is the appropriate response. Custody and visitation orders are enforceable under the law, and if the other parent refuses to abide by them, they can face serious legal repercussions.
If you are denied visitation, asking the courts to enforce an order is the quickest way to seek a resolution. If your child needs to be immediately removed and returned to you, filing for a Writ of Attachment will request that an officer pick up your child immediately. If you believe your child is in danger or the non-custodial parent has fled with your child, though, going directly to the police may be the appropriate action. It all comes down to the circumstances of your case, and a modification and enforcement lawyer in Houston can help you figure out the best approach.
Contact an Enforcements Modifications Lawyer in Houston Today
Court order modification and enforcement are both powerful tools in the world of family law. In most cases, Texas courts will not automatically involve themselves following a divorce decree or other legal orders. If a modification to such an order is necessary — or if you need help enforcing a preexisting order — it’s typically contingent on you to bring the matter to the court’s attention. A Houston family law attorney can help in this endeavor and fight to ensure you get a fair outcome.
At Von Dohlen Law Firm, we understand that a final ruling is rarely the final step in legal proceedings. Whether your case ended with court-ordered child support, alimony, or another legal requirement, it’s often the case that these orders last for years. Regardless of the specifics of your unique circumstances, though, an enforcements and modifications lawyer in Houston may be able to assist in your situation. Contact us today by calling (713) 844-8396 to schedule a consultation. We can help you understand how to best deal with an existing order from the court.