Enforcing Unpaid Obligations After a Texas Divorce

Unpaid Bills?

When a marriage ends, a Texas divorce decree outlines the responsibilities each party has concerning child support, spousal maintenance, and division of property. However, not all parties comply with these obligations, leading to financial strain and legal challenges for the receiving party. At GarciaWindsor, a premier family law firm based in Dallas, Texas, we specialize in enforcing divorce decrees to ensure that your rights and the welfare of your children are protected. This article explores how unpaid obligations are enforced in Texas and what steps you can take if your ex-spouse fails to meet their legal duties.

Understanding Unpaid Obligations

Types of Unpaid Obligations

Unpaid obligations can include missed child support payments, failure to pay spousal maintenance, or not transferring property as stipulated in the divorce decree. These failures can undermine financial stability and create significant legal and emotional challenges.

Legal Implications of Non-Compliance

Non-compliance with a divorce decree is not just irresponsible—it can lead to legal penalties, including contempt of court. This can result in fines, wage garnishments, or even jail time for the offending party.

Methods of Enforcement

Wage Garnishment

One of the most common methods to enforce payment obligations is wage garnishment. This involves a court order that directs an employer to withhold a certain portion of the debtor's wages to be directly sent to the receiving spouse or parent.

Liens and Levies

For property-related decrees, liens can be placed on property that was supposed to be transferred under the divorce terms. Additionally, levies might be imposed, allowing property to be seized and sold to fulfill debt obligations.

License Suspensions

Texas law allows for the suspension of licenses, including driver's, professional, and recreational licenses, if a person fails to comply with court-ordered obligations such as child support.

Interception of Tax Refunds

The state can also intercept federal tax refunds to cover unpaid child support, redirecting these funds directly to the custodial parent.

Seeking Legal Remedies

Filing a Motion for Enforcement

The first step in taking legal action is filing a Motion for Enforcement in the court that issued the original divorce decree. This motion should detail the specific provisions that have been violated and the relief sought.

Court Hearings and Judgments

Once a motion is filed, a court hearing will be scheduled. During the hearing, both parties can present their arguments. If the court finds that the decree has been violated, it can issue orders to enforce compliance, such as wage garnishments or property liens.

Modifying the Original Decree

In some cases, if ongoing non-compliance is linked to changes in circumstances, it might be necessary to seek a modification of the original decree. This can adjust obligations to more realistic levels, considering changes in financial status or living conditions.

Partner with GarciaWindsor for Effective Enforcement

If you are dealing with unpaid obligations from a divorce decree, it is crucial not to navigate these challenges alone. Partnering with experienced legal counsel can make a significant difference in securing the payments and property owed to you. At GarciaWindsor, we are dedicated to advocating for your rights and ensuring compliance with all legal obligations. Contact us today to discuss how we can assist you in enforcing your divorce decree and maintaining the financial support necessary for your future. Let our expertise in family law work for you, ensuring you receive what you are rightfully owed.