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For families living in Texas and other parts of the United States, it can be incredibly frustrating whenever a former spouse or co-parent of a child refuses to follow a court-mandated visitation or child support order. Individuals who find themselves in this difficult situation may be able to petition for a contempt order, which forces the other party to adhere to the original terms of the court order.

When it comes to family law, courts may enforce orders pertaining to a variety of matters such as visitation, child support, property division and spousal alimony. Typically, court orders are enforced by contempt proceedings. If a court deems that an individual is found in contempt, he or she may be ordered to pay a fine, serve jail time or both.

When enforcing contempt pertaining to child visitation, a court must order the parent to surrender the child to the other party at the beginning of the visitation period. The court must also order the return of the child after the end of the visitation period. The order will most likely also include the specific location where the child is to be exchanged as well as the time when each visitation period will begin and end. In the case of child support, the court must specify the exact amount to be paid, the individual to whom the payments are to be made and the dates in which the payments are to begin and end.

For individuals seeking legal help understanding family court orders such as visitation or child support, an experienced attorney may assist. An attorney may be able to assert the rights of a parent while remaining mindful of the child’s best interests.