Enforcing Court Orders in Domestic Cases

A court speaks through its “orders,” which are decisions, often written, but sometimes verbal, made by the judge after the conclusion of court proceedings. In divorce cases, for example, the judgment of divorce is the final order of the court in a divorce action; once the judgment of divorce is entered by the court, the divorce is final. Similarly, child support orders govern how much support each party is obligated to pay to the other. Ex-parte orders are entered by the court without the benefit of a full hearing, with only one party present, if the judge decisions such action is necessary. Referees in Friend of the Court proceedings also draft Orders following motion hearings, and while a referee’s orders are not the final word, they are entered by the family court judge in the event that neither party to the motion hearing objects within 21 days.
However, generally a court’s orders are not self-enforcing. This means that it is not the duty of family courts to check in on old cases after the court’s orders have been entered. The only exception to this is child support orders, because child support orders are of a benefit to the minor child, and the court will eventually take action itself if a child support payment is long enough overdue. But in all other matters, if a party is violating a court’s order regarding a family court matter such as parenting time, it is up to the innocent party to bring the wrongdoing to the court’s attention. Such solutions include filing a motion to enforce the court’s order or a motion to show cause why the opposing party is not following the court’s directives.
Navigating the challenging world of the family court system can be challenging and complex! If you need advice from an experienced family law attorney regarding your family court orders, or any other domestic issue, the Law Offices of Joumana Kayrouz can help. Please give us a call today and schedule your free consultation at 248-557-3645.


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