Thomas P. Carnes
(830) 997-7790 968 Braeutigam Road
Fredericksburg, Texas 78624

Thomas P. Carnes, A Civil Trial Lawyer Serving the Texas Hill Country
Practice Areas

Family Law


Enforcement actions are just what they sound like – actions to force someone to do something that they were ordered to do, such as pay child or spousal support, allow access to the child, or similar ordered actions. There are some differences between enforcement actions and divorce cases or suits to modify the parent-child relationship.

First of all, the movant in an enforcement action is generally entitled to his or her attorney's fees if he or she prevails in an enforcement action. Secondly, a court’s order is generally enforceable by contempt - meaning jail time.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Tom Carnes' position is that people should follow the Court Orders that govern their relationships with former spouses and their children. The answer to an untenable position is usually to attempt to modify the Order that it is difficult to comply with, not merely fail to comply. For example, far too many people come to us after an enforcement is brought for child support, when due to changing circumstances they would have been entitled to a reduction in their child support obligations months, or even years, ago. There is little that one can do about the past due support. The most that can be done is what should have been done previously – file a petition to modify the prior Order. Had the payor done so promptly, he or she could have avoid most of the financial pressure being brought as a result of being unable to comply with the Court’s Order.

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