Angleton Modification Enforcement Attorney
30 Years of Divorce Law Experience in Angleton, Texas
If you are involved in efforts to modify or enforce a divorce order, you want an experienced family law attorney to protect your interests. Whether you seek to modify or enforce a decree or want to challenge modification or enforcement efforts, you want a certified lawyer who knows the law and legal process and who will make certain your rights are safeguarded. Attorney Mark B. Jones will help you protect your interests in hearings to enforce the terms of a divorce judgment, whether your dispute involves disagreements regarding custody and visitation or the payment of support. He has nearly 30 years of family law experience handling contempt proceedings, representing both petitioners and respondents.
The Law Office of Mark B. Jones takes an aggressive stance, combining vigorous advocacy with caring and compassionate counsel. We emphasize personal service and open communication, keeping you updated on all developments in your modification or enforcement case so that you can make informed decisions that protect your future.
To request a change to a custody or visitation order, a parent must file a “Petition to Modify the Parent-Child Relationship” with the court.
A Texas court will likely only permit a modification if the change is in the best interests of the child, based on whether:
- the circumstances of the child, a conservator, or other person affected by the order have materially and substantially changed since the earlier of the date of the current order or the date of signing;
- the child is at least 12 years of age and has expressed a preference to the court as to the person who should have the exclusive right to designate their primary residence; or
- the conservator who currently has the exclusive right to designate the child’s primary residence has voluntarily relinquished the primary care and possession of the child to another person for at least 6 months.
Similarly, a parent can also request to modify an existing child support order if either parent experiences a material and substantial change in circumstances. A substantial change is usually a significant shift in custody, job loss, or international relocation, but there can be other reasons. The threshold is lower if an order has been in place for 3 years or more.
Enforcing Court Orders in Texas
If a parent does not meet the requirement set forth by a court-ordered custody and visitation order, the other parent may seek enforcement assistance from the court. The main requirement to petition for enforcement from the court is that the visitation order in question needs to clearly state a time, place, and date to exchange the children. This is because some order contain language such as “by agreement of the parties” and do not contain precise, specific terms that are enforceable by the court. If the order is not enforceable as such, a parent should instead modify or clarify the order to make it enforceable.
When filing for an enforcement lawsuit, the motion must include:
- the provisions of the order sought to be enforced (which part of the order they violated);
- the manner of the respondent’s alleged noncompliance (what the other parent did or did not do); and
- the request for relief (what they seek the court to do).
Regarding to having been unfairly denied visitation, a parent may file a Motion to Enforce for denial of visitation, where they ask the judge to punish the person for “constructive contempt.” Punishment will either fall under criminal contempt or civil contempt. Criminal contempt punishes a person for disrespecting the dignity and the authority of the court for deliberately ignoring a court’s order, and they are subject to criminal consequences like incarceration. Civil contempt is used to persuade the contemnor to obey the previous order and usually involves a money judgment or make-up visitation.
Similarly, a person who does not pay their child support payment orders may also face consequences for civil or criminal contempt. In civil contempt cases, the court will assess a specific number of days and/or a fine for each missed payment. In criminal contempt cases, the violator is sentenced to jail until they comply with the court order. The order usually states the obligor is to pay a certain amount or pay all of the unpaid child support. A court may also enforce a child support order by suspending the license of a violator, denying them a new or renewed passport, placing liens on properties, and even intercept lottery prizes.
Our Litigation Techniques
At The Law Office of Mark B. Jones, we assist individuals involved in hearings or motions to modify an existing divorce, custody, or child support order.
We handle modification proceedings involving all types of requests, including:
- motions by custodial or noncustodial parents to change custody or visitation arrangements, whether because of relocation, health matters, a change in work schedule or other circumstances;
- requests to modify child support or spousal support payments because of a change in the income of either parent or the needs of the child;
- requests for change of custody or for restrictions on visitation due to the needs of the child or as a result of concerns about the welfare or well-being of the child.
We have the trial experience to effectively represent you in court, and we can help you cooperate with your ex-spouse to resolve differences regarding the modification or enforcement of a divorce decree. We also have considerable negotiation skills and will work directly with opposing counsel, if possible, to work out an agreement that meets your needs.
Contact The Law Office of Mark B. Jones
We offer confidential initial consultations to every client. Our office is in Angleton, Texas two blocks south of the courthouse, in the historic W.D. Evans building. Attorney Jones is an aggressive litigator in the trial and negotiations room and an understanding and compassionate counsel in the consultation room with his clients.
Let an experienced and professional family lawyer negotiate your modifications and enforcement. Schedule a consultation with The Law Office of Mark B. Jones today by calling (979) 849-8077 or contacting us online.