Can My Family Law Order Be Enforced?

Is the other party to your family law order in violation of the judgment? You probably want to know if the order can be enforced. Your family law order for spousal support, child support, child custody, and child visitation, as well as other issues contained in the judgment, is enforceable by contempt proceedings. Your local Fresno family law attorney can help you to enforce the obligation of the other party through court proceedings.

Regarding an order made by agreement, be assured that the support is enforceable by contempt even though the obligation originates in a marital settlement agreement. Even support ordered payable to an adult child by agreement, or to a third party creditor for the benefit of a supported child or spouse, is enforceable by contempt.

Orders requiring a parent to participate in job training, apply for employment are enforceable by contempt. A parent who willfully fails to seek and accept suitable employment may also be in contempt. However, a contempt action cannot be brought against a person for failing to seek employment in order to pay spousal support. Note that CalWORKs program recipients cannot be ordered to seek full-time work where compliance with the order could jeopardize eligibility to receive CalWORKs benefits.

An employer is in contempt who willfully fails to comply with an earnings assignment order for the payment of support.

Regarding child custody and visitation, a parent is in contempt who unjustifiably interferes with the other parent’s court-ordered visitation rights or violates an injunction restraining relocation with the children.

Attorney fees/costs orders are also enforceable by contempt.

Concerning community property division orders, a spouse who refuses to relinquish a specific item or to pay money pursuant to a community property division order is in contempt.

With restraining orders, the court may invoke its contempt power to compel compliance, along with a possible misdemeanor penalty for intentional violation.

The statute of limitations for failure to pay child, family or spousal support, the contempt action must be commenced no later than three years from the date the payment was due, and can be broken down into separate counts for each month payment was not made in full. Enforcement of any other order made under the Family Code must be brought within two years from the time that the alleged contempt occurred.