Contempt & Enforcement
Helping Our Clients Enforce Massachusetts Family Court Orders
Any order, whether a temporary order or a final judgment, that is signed by a Massachusetts family court judge is enforceable. Essentially, this means that if one party is not upholding his or her end of the deal, the court can take measures to enforce the order. For example, if the custodial parent is supposed to be receiving child support payments, but the non-custodial parent is not paying, the custodial parent can seek the court’s help to enforce the order and ensure that they get what they are due. The aggrieved party files a complaint for contempt to initiate these actions.
The basis of all contempt actions is an enforceable court order. If there is a judge-signed order and evidence that one or more parties violated that order, then enforcement actions can be taken because that party is considered to be in contempt of court. The non-compliant party can be forced to cooperate through a variety of means.
Only Courts Can Change Court Orders
An order that becomes signed by a family court judge is a legally binding court order and, as such, can only be changed by the court. This means that even if one party does not like the terms outlined in the order, obeying the terms is not optional. It is, however, possible for one party to petition for a modification to change a court order.
Enforcement Options Available
There are a variety of enforcement options available in cases where one party is in contempt of court, including:
- Wage garnishment
- Driver’s license suspension
- Tax refund interception
- Orders to immediately pay any past-due child support or alimony (referred to as "arrearages")
It is important that you know your rights in the event of non-compliance. If another party is failing to uphold his or her end of a family court order, contact a Massachusetts enforcement attorney at Pollack Law Group today for a free evaluation of your case.