How To Enforce a Court Order


Not everyone follows the rules like they should, and if your ex is not abiding by the orders set forth by the court, you should take action to ensure they comply. By failing to follow court orders, your ex may alter your parenting plan, taking up more than his or her fair share of time with your children. Or, they may refuse to make the court-ordered support payments, leaving you without the financial assistance you are owed. Whatever the case, failing to follow these orders could be extremely inconvenient and could impact your children as well.

If your ex is not obeying the terms of a legal decree, you need to take immediate action to enforce the court orders they are ignoring.

About Court Orders in New York

The court can establish certain provisions following a divorce, separation, or another family legal issue, leaving each party with a legally-binding court order. These orders might include rules regarding child custody, child support, spousal support, or visitation. Both parties are legally required to follow these orders, whether they agree with them or not. If there is a serious disagreement regarding the orders, either party may request a modification. However, until a modification is granted, the court order remains binding. When either party does not comply with court orders, they could face serious legal repercussions.

Failing to fulfill a court order could result in the following consequences:

  • Costly fines
  • Freeze on bank accounts
  • Lien on business or house
  • Loss of driver’s license, passport, or professional license
  • Income garnishment
  • Withholding of tax refunds

In worst-case scenarios, the judge could find the individual in contempt of court for failing to follow the order, which could result in jail time.

Enforcing a Court Order

Before you head to court, you should first discuss the issue with your ex. If they’ve only missed one child support payment or showed up late for one scheduled visit, the court won’t be able to do very much to help you. Plus, if you can discuss the issue with your ex, the two of you may be able to solve the problem without court interference. However, if the issue has occurred repeatedly and your ex continues to ignore the court order, you need to discuss your options with your attorneys.

If the problem persists, you should gather evidence to prove your ex has repeatedly ignored court orders. Print out emails, text messages, or financial statements that show your ex was late making payments or did not make them at all, or that they did not honor your child custody agreement.

Our attorneys can work with you to present the case to the judge, proving that the non-compliant party has disobeyed the decree. If the issue involves child support payments, the New York Support Collection Unit (SCU) can also take enforcement measures against the non-compliant parent. In any case, our firm understands the financial burden caused by missed support payments and we don’t want to see parents fighting to get their rightful time with their children. Our goal is to help you find peace in your legal arrangement by enforcing the court orders the state of New York has established.

Contact Empire Law today to discuss your family law case with our Bronx divorce attorneys.

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