Dealing With an Uncooperative Spouse? 4 Ways Texas Can Enforce a Court Order

In a perfect world, divorcing or divorced parents would fulfill their obligations to each other, realizing that disobeying court orders and trying to punish each other for the break up are fruitless endeavors. However, in the real world, disgruntled spouses and ex-spouses are everywhere. Whether they’re dodging your efforts to collect financial information or lagging behind on child support, there are several ways that the court can hold them accountable.

1. Force Them to Provide Financial Information

During the divorce process, both sides go through discovery. Discovery involves handing over information that will allow the court to make an informed decision regarding the division of assets. In some situations, one spouse may refuse to turn over bank statements, information regarding assets, or income reports. Your attorney can file a motion to compel, which requests that the court order your spouse to hand over relevant documents.

2. Granting the Divorce of an Unwilling Spouse

If the other party refuses to sign the divorce paperwork, don’t worry—you don’t have to stay married to them forever. The process goes smoothly when both parties agree on the terms and conditions of the divorce, sign the necessary paperwork, and show up for all necessary court dates. If your spouse dodges service of the divorce paperwork or refuses to sign final paperwork required by the court, the court can still proceed with the divorce or enter a default divorce. Your attorney will have to prepare additional paperwork to file with the court, but will be able to proceed even if your spouse refuses to cooperate.

3. Require Payment of Child Support

While a child’s best interests should be at the forefront of every parent’s mind, some try to punish the other spouse by withholding support. The court does not look favorably upon parents who do not uphold their obligations to their children. Your attorney can file a motion for enforcement of child support, with the threat of incarceration for failure to pay child support. A lien can be placed on any non-exempt assets.  Also, the Texas Office of the Attorney General is charged with collecting delinquent child support, and applying for their services costs nothing. (The OAG does NOT represent you, however, and their process can take longer than a private attorney.) You can apply for their services on their website: :!ut/p/a1/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfGjzOItDCwsDC1MDLwNzI1cDBz9_I19fRxdDQ1czPQLsh0VAVJ3il4!/

4. Follow Up on Missed Alimony Payments

If your ex-spouse is bitter about being forced to pay spousal support, they may withhold it and hope that you don’t take the issue to court again. In family court, the judge may hold your spouse in contempt for failing to follow court orders. Your ex-spouse must then go to court for their contempt of court case, which often ends with them paying your attorney fees, back spousal support, and even incarceration.

We’re here to help if you’re struggling with an uncooperative ex-spouse or spouse. Reach out to the team at Fraser, Wilson & Bryan, P.C. at 254-965-7270 to get started.