When a court enters orders, most people frequently comply with what is required. However, there are also plenty of individuals who choose to disregard court orders. Depending on the circumstances, various forms of relief may be available. We have discussed contempt proceedings in one of our other posts so that we won’t be talking about contempt here. Instead, we’ll be talking about an avenue for relief that may be available. Today’s blog post is about motions to enforce and how they may be beneficial.
When there is friction between parents who have cut romantic ties, it can be problematic. This issue is especially real for those parents who have gone through the legal process to have parental responsibilities judicially determined. If the friction between parents causes one parent to disregard court orders, or otherwise fail to comply with requirements, there is relief available to the other parent. Frequently, the other parent will want to seek to have the court’s order enforced. This action may be accomplished by filing what is known as a “motion to enforce”.
A motion to enforce is an avenue of relief available to parents in the instance of disputes over parenting time. For a point of reference, Colorado law codifies such actions under Colorado Revised Statutes §14-10-129.5. Essentially, a motion to enforce is a motion brought by one party against another party seeking to gain compliance with court orders regarding parenting time or schedules. A person may wish to file such a motion if the other parent refuses to comply with orders as they pertain to parenting time or schedules such as: failing to timely cease parenting time; keeping the children overnight during the other parent’s parenting time; denying the other parent’s parenting time; or a number of other similar behaviors.
Motions to enforce have numerous benefits, when used appropriately. First off, they tend to be resolved more quickly than motions for contempt. As motions to enforce don’t require personal service, and there is no necessity for advisement, they have less procedural requirements than contempt motions. Furthermore, motions to enforce can provide similar relief to those available under contempt theories. For example, the court may modify its orders, require the noncomplying parent to pay the attorney’s fees of the requesting party, find the noncomplying parent in contempt, impose fines or jail sentences, or choose from many other available forms of relief.
Additionally, courts generally seem to be more receptive to motions to enforce, as they are perceptually less hostile. While a party won’t be punished for a motion for contempt, a motion to enforce may be better received.
Complying with court orders is essential, and this is no different for court orders as they relate to parenting time. If you’ve been affected by the other parent’s refusal to comply with court orders, perhaps a motion to enforce will be appropriate in your case. If you believe this might apply to your situation, take the time to consult with an attorney familiar with the area of family law. Here at Modern Family Law, we specialize in family law. We have extensive experience in handling motions to enforce and know what to do if one parent refuses to comply with court orders. Take the time to speak with one of our attorneys. We provide consultations with one of our expert attorneys at no cost to you.
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