Court orders are essential in all family law cases. Whether you’re dividing marital property or creating a schedule for child visitation, clear orders let everyone know what to expect. They can also allow those involved to emotionally prepare for what lies ahead and take the proper steps to meet their obligations.
What happens when a party doesn’t follow a court order? Whether by accident, carelessness or even out of spite, it can be infuriating when the other party doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain. Here’s what you need to know from our Las Vegas family law attorneys.
What Is Enforcement of a Court Order?
Enforcement of a court order is the legal process of ensuring that the parties to a court order follow it. If a party does not do what they’re supposed to do to comply with the order, they may be subject to punishment or penalties under the law. The purpose is to coerce the non-compliant party into complying with the order.
Enforcement is the process of the court determining if the order was violated and ordering penalties against the non-compliant parent. If the parent isn’t going to comply voluntarily, the court may issue a punishment that they think will be effective. They may work with an attorney for enforcement of court orders to effectively make their case.
Should I Bring a Parenting Time Enforcement Order?
It can be hard to know whether to bring a parenting time enforcement order. After all, you want to know that the case will be taken seriously by the court. Questions to ask yourself when determining whether to bring a parenting time order include:
- What was the parent’s intent in not following the court order? Was the non-compliance intentional?
- Is there a repeated pattern of the parent not following the court order, or was it a one-time occurrence?
- How much time did you lose because of the non-compliance? Was it a few hours or days or more?
- What proof do you have that the court order was violated?
- Can the court order an effective remedy for what happened?
- Has the parent had other kinds of violations that show disinterest in following the court order?
- Did you incur financial losses because of the court order violation?
A court is most likely to be receptive to a court enforcement action if you can prove that it occurred and if the violation is substantial. A parent who is late for parenting exchange by 30 minutes one time is not likely to incur much of a reaction from a court.
However, a parent who constantly makes excuses to deny significant parenting time is much more likely to face a serious penalty. Our attorneys for custody enforcement actions can help you weigh all the factors to determine if it’s appropriate to bring an enforcement action in your case.
Consequences of Not Following a Parenting Plan
There are several things that can result from not following a parenting plan. If a party does not follow the plan, the following consequences may result:
- Jail time
- Make-up parenting time
- Changes in the conditions of parenting time
- A complete change of custody
The court may fashion a remedy that they believe is appropriate. In some cases, a parent may need a slight modification in the schedule to accommodate a change in working hours, for example. In other cases, a complete overhaul of parenting time is appropriate. The courts are not afraid to impose severe sanctions in cases of willful non-compliance.
The court is not going to entirely change custody as a direct result of a contempt of court action. However, a parent refusing to follow a court order and willfully interfering with another parent’s rights may be telling of a bigger picture. It may be evidence that it’s appropriate to have a custody change.
An attorney for enforcement of family court orders can assist you with filing the appropriate court documents to pursue your goals, whether it is enforcement or a motion to change primary custody.
How Do I Enforce Child Support in Nevada?
To enforce child support in Nevada, you may contact the District Attorney Family Support Division (DAFS). They may assist with wage garnishment, intercepting tax refunds and other methods to collect support. If initial efforts to collect are unsuccessful, it may be appropriate to initiate a court action to collect child support.
Nevada Child Custody Enforcement Laws
Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 125C1 lists many of the laws to enforce court orders in family law cases. Nevada law 125C.0102 says that visitation orders must be written, particularly to begin with, so the court can make sense of what they are enforcing. After all, the parties need clear guidance as to what they’re required to do. In addition, Nevada law 125C.0303 says that a custodial parent may be found in contempt of court and jailed for wrongfully denying visitation.
Nevada Make-Up Parenting Time Law
Nevada Revised Statutes 125C.0204 is Nevada’s make-up parenting time law. If a custodial parent wrongfully denies the custodial parent their time with the children, the court may order additional time to compensate the aggrieved parent. The time must be of the same type and duration as the missed time.
The parent has one year to elect the time that they want to take. If it’s on a regular weekday or weekend, they must give seven days advance notice. If they have make-up holiday or vacation time, they must provide 30 days’ notice.
Attorneys for Enforcement of Family Court Orders
Our Las Vegas child custody attorneys and child support lawyers can help you take action. If you need help to enforce a court order for divorce or child custody, we can guide you through the legal system to ensure you assert your rights. Let us put our experience to work to advise you on the best course of action and carry out a plan to have your court order followed. Contact us today to talk about your case.