When dealing with a challenging legal situation, such as a custody dispute, having a court order can be a step in the right direction - the document gives you legal backing when it comes to enforcing obligations and rights. But sometimes, even with a court order in hand, things don’t always go smoothly. There are situations in which enforcing a court order becomes necessary. But how do you go about doing this?
If you're living in Colorado and need assistance in this area, it can be daunting knowing where or whom to turn to for help. This blog post will review some primary things you need to know about enforcement of family law orders in Colorado.
What Family Law Orders Are Subject to Enforcement?
Family law orders lay out legal responsibilities related to the care and support of children, finances, and other matters following a divorce or separation. When it comes to family law, orders from a court are legally binding and must be followed. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. When someone is struggling with the non-compliance of a former partner or co-parent may be required to seek enforcement from the courts.
Several types of family law orders can be enforced, including:
- Custody and visitation agreements
- Spousal or child support orders
- Property division settlements
While court enforcement is a good option for some cases, it may not be appropriate in every situation, and it is usually the choice of last resort. Keep reading to learn about other options you may be able to pursue prior to seeking enforcement.
Alternatives to Court Enforcement
Before seeking enforcement, you may want to explore alternative solutions to your issue. The first and most recommended is seeking a modification of the original order. For example, if the other parent is struggling to meet the demands of their initial court order, they can seek a new agreement that is more in line with their current resources. When appropriate, modification may provide you with a more amicable resolution to the problem you are experiencing.
In addition to a modification, if a party is not adhering to an existing court order, they can also be held in contempt of court. This process can be both remedial and punitive, designed to correct the situation or punish the offending party for their actions. If contempt proceedings are successful, the offender may incur fines or even face incarceration depending on the severity of their disregard for the court's orders.
Filing a Motion to Enforce in Colorado
In the state of Colorado, filing a motion to enforce an existing family law court order is done through the local county court. To begin the process, a completed Motion for Enforcement (Form JDF 420) must be submitted to the clerk with a $47.00 filing fee. The motion must include reasons why enforcement is needed, identify any efforts an individual has made to obtain compliance with the order, and any other information or evidence that will help explain why enforcement is necessary.
Upon submission of the motion and payment of the fee, the filer will receive a hearing date from the court. At this hearing, both parties are encouraged to present their case in front of a judge, who will then decide how best to enforce or modify the order at hand.
If you are in a situation where you believe court enforcement is necessary, reach out to the Law Office of Greg Quimby, P.C., for help. Our attorneys have helped countless people through the enforcement process, and we can help you too.