FAQ: What can I do If the Other Party Is Not Following the Court’s Orders in Orange County or Los Angeles, California?
What Can I Do If the Other Party Is Not Following the Court’s Orders?
When a court order has been issued, the people involved are legally required to follow the terms of the order, or to face legal consequences for refusing to do so. This also means that if a court order has been issued regarding you and another person, you can legally enforce your court order so that the other person does follow the terms of the order, even if he or she has not been doing so thus far.
To ensure that the other party does follow the terms of your court order in California, you have several options:
• You may request that the court modify the existing court order;
• You may request that the court modifies the existing court order in addition to punishing the other party for failing to obey the court order;
• Or, you may file a contempt of court action, which is a way of telling the court that the other parent has violated the court order and should be reprimanded.
Keep in mind that depending on the type of court order you are dealing with and the result you are looking for, some of these options may be better than others. It is always a good idea to discuss your situation with a qualified family lawyer who has experience in the enforcement and modification of court orders in California.
When you are ready to move forward, the following information may provide some information on the process.
General Modification of Family Court Orders in California
In order to continue serving the needs of those involved, this is necessary. However, if the other party is simply not following the terms of the order, you may need to request that the order be modified sooner rather than later.
One of the most commonly disobeyed types of court orders in California is a child custody order. Modifying an existing custody order or another type of court order may be necessary, especially if the other party has already decided that a different order would be more appropriate, but has not taken the steps to legally modify it.
However, if a court order is no longer serving you or your family, it is necessary for you to make a legal modification that can be legally enforced. Until a modification has taken place, the existing order can be modified and both parties can be held liable for violations.
Modifying a Child Custody Order in OC California
As with all matters of family law, especially those pertaining to children, it is always a good idea to discuss your options with an attorney prior to moving forward with the courts.
Child custody orders need to be modified as a child grows up so that a custody and visitation order will continue to serve the child’s needs and best interests throughout his or her life, even as changes occur.
One or both parents may ask a judge to modify a child custody order for many reasons, including changes in the child’s life and changes in the parents’ lives.
In order to successfully modify a child custody order in California, the requesting party (you) will need to show that there has been a significant change in circumstances since the current custody order was created. The proposed changes to the custody order must be in the best interests of the child, and due to the change in circumstances, the existing custody is not.
Creating a New Parenting Plan in Orange County California
When it comes to changing or modifying a custody order in California, it is important that you consider your child before everything else. Even if you are angry that the child’s other parent is not following the terms of the custody order, the child is the priority. A judge will not sign a custody order that is not in the child’s best interests.
However, a judge will consider a parent’s likelihood to follow the terms of the order in creating one. If the other parent cannot be trusted to follow the terms of the custody and visitation order, it may be in your best interest and the best interest of your child to create a stricter custody order, to award custody to you (as the parent who does follow the terms of the custody order), or to limit the other parent’s time with the child to visitation or supervised visitation.
Remember that just because the other parent does not follow the terms of the custody order does not mean that you should do whatever you want – it is always best to follow the terms of any court order and t o have it modified if it no longer fits your needs.
Modifying or Enforcing a Child Support Order in California
If necessary, it is possible to garnish the other parent’s wages to ensure that custody is paid in full and paid on time.
If the other parent has stopped paying child support because he or she can no longer afford it due to job loss, health issues, incarceration, etc., that parent should file to modify the court order as soon as possible. The existing order can be legally enforced until a judge has signed a new court order.
There are several ways to enforce a child support order, the simplest of which is obtaining a wage assignment, or wage garnishment for the parent who is not paying.
In California, every child support case automatically includes a wage assignment. However, many parents choose to pay the child support on their own rather than having their wages garnished. You may wish to reinstate the original wage assignment if the other parent is not paying what he or she is legally obligated to pay.
To do this, you may hire an attorney and go through the court system on your own, or you may request that your local child support agency help you. As long as the parent who is required to pay child support is employed, his or her employer will take child support payments directly from the parent’s paycheck prior to paying him or her.
Contempt of Court Orders in California
However, due to its criminal nature, a contempt of court case may not result in any aid to you, only consequences for the offending party. Showing contempt of court can be difficult. If you are attempting to show contempt of a court order in a family law case, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney who has experience in these cases.
If a person is found in contempt of any court order, he or she could face serious consequences, from jail time to fines in addition to losing custody or visitation rights, paying all back child support, etc.
In order to show that a person is in contempt of a court order in family law, you will need to prove three things:
• A valid and legally enforceable court order exists. The order must be clear and signed by a judge.
• The opposing party was aware that the court order existed, and knew that he or she was obligated to follow it. In order to disobey a court order, it is necessary to be aware of its existence.
• The other party willfully violated the court order in question. Choosing not to pay child support when a parent can afford it, or intentionally failing to pick up or drop off a child according to a custody plan are both willful violations of certain types of family law orders.
In order to file a contempt case, you have two years from the date of the violation for all family law court orders except for those related to support; support related contempt cases allow three years from the date of the missed payment. Every missed payment is a separate instance.
Orange County Violation of Court Order Attorneys
Contact the attorneys at Yanez & Associates today to schedule your free initial consultation with a qualified Orange County family law attorney.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Can I Do If the Other Party Is Not Following the Court’s Orders?
- 2 General Modification of Family Court Orders in California
- 3 Modifying a Child Custody Order in OC California
- 4 Modifying or Enforcing a Child Support Order in California
- 5 Contempt of Court Orders in California
- 6 Orange County Violation of Court Order Attorneys