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Enforcing Divorce Decrees

Dallas Divorce Lawyers Representing Parties in Enforcement Actions

After determining all of the disputed issues in a divorce action, the Texas courts will issue a final order, known as the divorce decree, that officially dissolves a marriage and outlines the terms of the divorce settlement. The entry of a divorce decree should mark the resolution of a case. In some instances, though, a party will refuse to comply with the terms of a divorce decree, typically to the detriment of their former spouse. Fortunately, Texas law allows parties to compel compliance with divorce decrees via enforcement actions. If you want to learn more about enforcing divorce decrees under Texas law, it is in your best interest to meet with an attorney as soon as possible. The assertive Dallas divorce lawyers of McClure Law Group understand the importance of obtaining favorable outcomes in divorce actions and ensuring that the courts’ rulings are upheld, and if you hire us, we will fight to help you seek the results you deserve.

Procedure for Enforcing Divorce Decrees in Texas

In Texas divorce actions, the court determines how their community assets and property should be divided. This division of property is typically outlined in a decree issued by the court. If one party fails to adhere to the terms laid out in the decree, the affected party has the right to seek enforcement through legal action.

The Texas Family Code (the Code) sets forth the procedure for enforcing divorce decrees. Specifically, the Code states that to initiate enforcement proceedings, the affected party must file a suit requesting enforcement of the decree. The court that oversaw the divorce or annulment retains jurisdiction to enforce decisions regarding property division.

There are specific time limitations for filing enforcement suits. For instance, if the enforcement pertains to tangible personal property existing at the time of the decree, the suit must be filed within a certain period, typically before the second anniversary of the decree's signing or finalization after appeal. Similar deadlines apply to enforcement suits regarding future property, which must be filed within a specified timeframe from the maturity or accrual of the property rights.

Relief Provided by Enforcing Divorce Decrees

In suits to enforce divorce decrees, the courts may issue further orders to ensure compliance with the property division outlined in the decree. These orders may involve clarifying the terms of the original division or specifying the manner in which the division should be carried out. Courts are prohibited from altering the substantive division of property outlined in the original decree, however. Instead, any orders issued in enforcement actions are solely to assist in implementing or clarifying the existing division.

In cases where a party fails to comply with the court's orders, the court has the authority to compel compliance. This may include ordering the delivery of specific property awarded in the decree or rendering a money judgment for damages caused by non-compliance.

The court may also enforce future property rights and use contempt proceedings to enforce specific orders related to property division. Additionally, the court may award costs and attorney's fees to the prevailing party in enforcement proceedings.

Meet with an Experienced Dallas Divorce Attorney

The Texas courts carefully consider the relevant law and facts of a divorce action before issuing a decree to ensure their decision is fair and just. Regardless, some parties decline to abide by the terms of their divorce decree, which usually impairs the rights of their former spouse and, in some cases, their children. If you have questions about enforcing divorce decrees in Texas, you should meet with an attorney. The experienced Dallas divorce attorneys of McClure Law Group can assess the facts of your case and offer you advice regarding what measures you can take to protect your interests. Our main office is located in Dallas. We also have a Collin-County office, which is located in Plano, where we are available to meet clients by appointment. We frequently represent people in divorce lawsuits and enforcement actions in Dallas, Garland, Fort Worth, Rockwall, Irving, Richardson, Frisco, and McKinney. We also handle other family-law matters in cities in Dallas, Denton, Rockwall, Collin, Tarrant, and Grayson. You can contact us by calling 214.692.8200 or by using our form online to arrange a consultation.

Client Reviews
"McClure Law Group was very professional and responsive. They listened to my concerns and desires as it pertains to the service requested and I'm very pleased." Jade Nguyen
"Kelly and her team are always a pleasure to work with, and their work product always exceeds one’s expectations." George Tamke
"When I most needed professional, good quality responses McClure Law Group was there. Thank you for the service that I have received from everyone!" Norma Charles
"McClure Law Group’s team is very responsive! I have very much appreciated their communication. They are always on top of what is happening and return my calls or emails quickly." Brie Cherry
"Kelly McClure has been representing me for the past several years and has been an amazing advocate, confidant and sounding board. She is always available by phone, even when she is on vacation. She has answered my questions on weekends and always given me an honest opinion. I highly recommend this group to anyone." Heather Bell
"The McClure Law Group helped me through a very difficult divorce and they definitely had my back every step of the way. I couldn’t recommend the team enough!" Shell A.
"I could not be happier to have had McClure Law. I truly appreciate their accessibility and patience. I can tell they are very knowledgeable, and I trust their guidance. I am SO thankful I went with great lawyers to handle my family case." Victor Lollar
"Kelly is detailed oriented and she truly cares about her clients. Her knowledge of the laws and her ability to get a case resolved make her stand far above others. I highly recommend McClure for your family law needs!" Peter Morgan