Family Law Cases in Texas: Enforcing Visitation and Property Orders

Enforcement cases are not solely to ensure back child support payments are made. On the contrary, many different areas of a family law order can be enforced.

Today’s blog topic from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan will discuss enforcing different types of orders starting with Visitation Orders.

Habeas Corpus

It was only a matter of time before the lawyer started using weird Latin words, right? Sometimes in a visitation case, you do not have time to wait for a contempt order to granted against an ex-spouse who has violated a visitation order from your divorce decree. A habeas corpus proceeding is your alternative in such a case.

For instance, if you are going through a divorce and there are no orders in place yet, a habeas corpus action can be filed in order to have the judge make a quick ruling in order to have some authority to have your child returned to you from your spouse or another person’s possession.

On the other hand, a habeas corpus lawsuit would be appropriate in situations where you do have an order in place and the other party to the order has kept your child in his or her possession for longer than your court order allows.

Taking possession of your child via warrant

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) allows for a court of any state in the country to recognize and enforce the child custody order of another state and vice versa. The laws of this state would apply to the out of state child custody order and would allow a court to use any means available under the law to return a child to his or her parent who brings the lawsuit.

One such method to return a child to you is to file an application for a warrant to be issued that allows you to take physical custody of your child if you believe that he or she is in danger of imminent physical harm. Once your child is removed from his or her other parent the warrant and the petition you filed must be presented to him or her.

This method of enforcing a visitation order is effective if you believe that your child is about to be removed from the State of Texas either to another state or internationally. To have a court issue this type of order you would need to present it with evidence that the act of removing your child is imminent.

How to enforce a property division order

Property divisions come about as a result of divorces.

It can happen that once your divorce decree has been signed into place that your spouse does not live up to their end of the bargain by turning over property that has been awarded to you in the divorce.

clarification order

A clarification order can be issued if the terminology used in the original order is not clear or specific enough for an enforcement by contempt.

The clarification order would set forth more specific terms that allow a court to actually enforce the order. The court would set forth a specific amount of time that the terms of the new order must be satisfied by.

Money Judgment

If a court does not have the option to simply order you to deliver whatever property is in question to your ex-spouse, it can issue an order for a money judgment based on your failure to follow through and comply with the prior order. Likewise, a court can enforce an order having to do with property by awarding the right to receive future property to you or your opposing party.

Finally, you can be awarded attorney’s fees and costs because you had to go through the expense of hiring an attorney to file your enforcement case and represent you.

Tips for proceeding with a divorce

While all family law cases necessarily demand your attention and respect, there is no more frequently filed case in family law than the divorce. If you are filing for a divorce it means that the bedrock of your family- the relationship between you and your spouse- has soured and that despite your best efforts to resuscitate the relationship there has been no success. What follows is an overview of the divorce case with tips on how to conduct yourself if you find yourself in one.

Ultimately, your divorce is not only about emotion. It certainly will contain emotional elements and you will be forgiven if you initially approach your case from this vantage point. However, your case is ultimately a legal proceeding that involves the rule of law. If you do not understand and know your rights you are at a disadvantage when compared to those that do.

A divorce at its basis dissolves the marriage relationship and institutes orders in regard to community property/debts, conservatorship, possession, and support of your children.

What to know before filing for a divorce in Texas

Appearing in court is typical in a divorce case at some stage in the process, however, it is not required. Your attorney will have his or her method for preparing you for any courtroom appearance but when it comes to addressing a judge or simply appearing in court there is no need to be nervous.

To begin, always dress appropriately when in the courthouse. This does not mean break the bank and buy all new clothing for your two-hour court appearance. It does, however, mean that you should dress in a manner that is befitting the building.

For men, you should wear a dress shirt with dress pants. Jeans are ok as long as they are clean, wrinkle free and do not have an excessive amount of designs or other distracting material on them. Bonus points if you can round up a jacket or tie to wear with your pants and dress shirt.

For women, you cannot go wrong with a dress, pants or a skirt. Remember you are not here to impress anyone from a fashion standpoint so there is no need to wear any clothing that is too short, revealing or tight.

Act appropriately even when not in front of your judge

From the moment that you walk into the courthouse, it is important that you act as well behaved as possible. This is true even if you are not actually in your courtroom or in front of your judge.

When addressing the judge with a response to a question you are being asked it is expected that you will speak clearly, with politeness and volume. It could be that the judge is not standing just a few feet from you and you will need to speak up in order to have him or her hear what you are saying.

One tip that I will tell clients immediately before a hearing is that the court reporter is transcribing the hearing diligently but cannot pick up on a head nod or head shake. Make sure every response you provide to a question is verbal and not nonverbal.

It is fine to address the judge as “Your honor”, “Sir” or “Ma’am”. Many attorneys will refer to the judge as simply “Judge” though I do not recommend this for clients.

Marital Property in a Texas Divorce: The topic of tomorrow’s blog post

We will continue our discussion on divorce in Texas tomorrow by going over how the court approaches any property associated with your marriage. In the meantime, if you have questions about family law cases in Texas please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan today.

A free of charge consultation is only a phone call away. One of our licensed family law attorneys will be happy to meet with you to answer questions and go over any information that you would like to talk about.

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Other Articles you may be interested in:

  1. What to do When Your Child Does Not Want to Visit the Other Parent
  2. Can a child choose who he or she wants to live with in Texas?
  3. When Can a Minor Child Weigh in on Custody Decisions in Texas?
  4. Does my 18 year old child still have to go with their other parent on the weekend for court ordered visitation in Texas?
  5. What can happen when you ask the Judge to talk to your teenager during a divorce
  6. 15 Myths About Divorce in Texas
  7. Mom Versus Dad Who Gets the rights? - Custodial Rights Vs. Non-Custodial Rights in Texas
  8. When is, Cheating Considered Adultery in a Texas Divorce?
  9. Texas Divorce Morality Clause: Be Careful What You Ask For
  10. 6 Tips - On How to prepare for a Texas Divorce
  11. How am I going to Pay for My Texas Divorce?
  12. How Much Will My Texas Divorce Cost?

Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our divorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.

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