When a divorce or family law matter is resolved, the appropriate court will issue an order that is legally binding. An order by the court requires an individual to do or cease doing something. Courts issue orders that deal with a range of topics. In divorce and family law cases, they usually revolve around:
- Spousal maintenance
- Child support
- Child custody and visitation
- Division of marital property
Unfortunately, there are times when one party may not comply with the court's order. In these cases, the other party may have no choice but to ask the court for assistance with enforcing the original order.
Sometimes, an order for child support and custody, spousal maintenance, or division of assets is violated. A spouse may request the court's assistance through an enforcement petition or "violation petition" in the family court in the county where they reside. The court must establish a willful violation. In the case of child support, a sworn testimony as to the non-receipt of ordered payments is evidence enough to establish a willful violation. It is the burden of the defendant of the petition to demonstrate why they are unable to comply. They must demonstrate overwhelming evidence as to why they cannot comply in order to avoid a willfulness finding.