Enforcement Orders 2017-11-09T22:23:26+00:00

Enforcement Orders

There are various enforcement orders that can come into play with certain legal matters.

If one party refuses to comply with previous Court orders, then the other party has a few remedies:

  • File contempt proceedings
  • File a Request For Order for enforcement and seek attorneys fees and Family Code Section 271 sanctions
  • Motion to Compe
  • Other

These remedies can be used together or individually depending on the specific circumstances.


A contempt is a quasi-criminal action. Even though it is held in family court, the party whom it is brought against is now a “defendant.” They will be arraigned, given an opportunity to get a criminal attorney, and the party seeking the contempt must prove beyond a “reasonable doubt” that the defendant violated the order. Specifically, the party seeking a contempt must prove all the following:

  1. There was a prior order,
  2. The defendant had notice of the order,
  3. The defendant failed to follow the order,
  4. The defendant’s failure was willful.

If anyone of these is not met, then the contempt will not be granted.

Fees & Sanctions:

The family code and case law provide that you may seek monetary sanctions and attorneys fees against the other party for their failure to comply with Court orders. While this specific remedy does not subject the other party to “contempt,” the burden of proof is lower, thus it may be easier to obtain.

Motion to Compel:

When discovery requests are not responded to or are responded to inadequately, then the party seeking discovery can file a motion to compel with the Court, forcing the other party to comply.


Depending on the type of violation, the family code provides various types of remedies for aggrieved party or disincentives for the party who fails to comply. For example, if one parent refuses to allow visitation or does not comply with the Court order, the Court can change custody from one parent to the other. If one person raids or hoards asset then they can be sanctioned up to 50{33a6f0b0263d97ee54d2bad2b686d372fdf829b2bd769703c17025ad38142135} of the asset in addition to having to give the spouse that spouse’s 50 {33a6f0b0263d97ee54d2bad2b686d372fdf829b2bd769703c17025ad38142135} interest. You will need to discuss with your attorney specific options.

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