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Helping Women Enforce Support and Child Custody Orders

An excellent divorce settlement or order does not amount to much if your former spouse simply refuses to honor his obligations.  For women who rely on support payments and maintenance to provide for themselves and their children, this can create a vicious cycle where the lack of support makes it financially difficult to enforce a support order in court.  But the law understands the financial challenges faced by many parents and spouses, during and after divorce proceedings and child custody disputes¾and provides remedies for those in this position.

Upon petition, the court that issued the original child custody or support order may enforce that order through a variety of means.  The court may hold the non-complying parent or spouse in civil or criminal contempt, and issue a capias—or warrant—for his arrest and incarceration.  It may require the parent or spouse to post a bond with the court as security for his future compliance.

The court may place the non-complying parent on community supervision.  It may also issue a judgment for any child support arrearages; supervise the repayment thereof (including interest) and place a lien on most property that the non-complying parent or spouse owns.  If possible, the court can order the employer of the non-paying parent or spouse to withhold support payments from his pay.  In most cases, the non-complying spouse is also liable for attorney fees incurred during enforcement.

Because of the variety of remedies available and the complex procedures and time limits involved, it is important to consult a seasoned family law attorney who has experience with child and spousal support and child custody enforcement¾and can help you pursue your rights under a support or child custody agreement.

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Robert Reid McInvale
Attorney at Law

Robert Reid McInvale is an experienced family law attorney with a comprehensive practice in Houston. He provides dedicated and strong advocacy for his clients, helping them with all the issues surrounding their divorce, separation, child custody, and other marriage and family matters. Attorney McInvale—Reid to clients and friends—seemed destined for a law career. Born while his father was attending Emory University Law School, Reid grew up in Manchester, GA. His father was the city attorney for many years, as well as head of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. It is in the family blood to become lawyers and help people get justice. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall is part of the McInvale family tree.

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