Even after battling in court for custody, alimony, and equitable distribution of property, there is no guarantee the other person will follow the court's orders. After a divorce, many people do not take steps to make sure the ex-spouse is following through with their commitments. However, if the other spouse is not following the child visitation schedule or not making support payments, your North Carolina family law attorney can make sure the orders are enforced.
Family Court Orders in North Carolina
Family court orders may include any judicial order issued by the family court. These include temporary orders, permanent orders, and orders that are to be in place until some future event, like a child turning 18 or an ex getting remarried. Family court orders can include:
- Separation agreements,
- Child custody,
- Post-separation support,
- Property division, and
- Child support.
The court orders that are most often violated involve child custody and visitation agreements and support payments (alimony, child support, or post-separation support). Violating these court orders can have consequences. However, it is generally up to the individual to notify the court that the other party is violating the order.
Some individuals may let these violations go or just accept what the other party is doing. However, if the other party begins bending the rules and gets away with it, they may ignore any other agreements completely. If the other individual is taking away money, support, or time with your children, you deserve to have someone on your side to make sure you get what you are owed.
Enforcing Alimony Payment
Alimony or spousal support may an individual's primary source of income after a divorce. It can be difficult to find a job that can support a family, especially when a parent is busy taking care of the kids and maintaining a household. Alimony payments provide much needed financial support and a spouse who fails to make these payments on time should be held accountable.
An ex may claim they cannot afford the payments or the other person does not need the money. If the person required to make the payments has a problem with the court order, it is up to them to go to the court to modify the orders. As long as the order is in place, that person is required to make payments.
Failure to make support payments can result in being held in contempt of court, which can lead to possible arrest, garnishment of wages, collections, and forced sale of a property. If you are owed alimony payments and the former spouse is not making full payment on time, contact your attorney to make sure you get the payment you deserve.
Enforcing Child Custody Agreements
A divorce is tough on parents but often more difficult for the children. After the parents come to an agreement on child custody and visitation, the parents should try and maintain a regular and consistent schedule where each parent gets quality time with their child. When one parent starts to ignore the child visitation schedule against the wishes of the other parent, this can also affect the child.
Child custody agreement violations often begin with bending the rules and making last-minute changes to the visitation schedule. This may include scheduling an event during the other's parenting time, claiming a child does not want to see the other parent that day or saying the child is sick and needs to stay home.
If this continues, the other parent may more openly violate the child visitation and custody schedule by not responding to the other parent's calls, not being home when the parent comes to pick up their child, or taking the child on vacation during the other parent's custody period. Minor and major violations of visitation and custody orders should be documented and may help your case later if you have to go to court.
There may be nothing more important to a parent than the time they spend with their kids. If the other parent is violating a custody order, you can file a motion with the court to hold the other parent in contempt. The penalties for contempt of court can include a fine, jail time, and requiring the other party to pay attorney's fees.
Do Not Take It Upon Yourself to Enforce Court Orders
It can be frustrating to deal with an ex who is not fulfilling their obligations when it comes to property division, alimony, child support, or child custody. However, you should never take it upon yourself to be the “enforcer.” Even if the other person is violating court orders, you should not violate the court orders in retaliation. Contact your North Carolina family law attorney to get the orders enforced through the proper legal channels.
North Carolina Family Law Firm in Shelby
If you have any questions about enforcing family court orders in North Carolina, the skilled attorneys at Caulder & Valentine are here to help. Contact us today for a consultation.