While some people contending with family law issues are able to resolve matters amongst themselves, many will seek intervention and guidance from the courts. Typically, when a court makes a determination in a family law case, it will issue an order setting forth its ruling. The order then becomes the law of the case. In other words, the parties in the case are bound by the order and may experience negative outcomes if they do not comply with it. Family law orders can be overwhelming, though, and their meaning is not always clear. If you have questions regarding what your family law court order means and the potential consequences of not abiding by the order, you should consult a trusted California child custody lawyer as soon as possible.
Understanding Your Family Law Court Orders
When people receive family law orders, they should read the entire order thoroughly for several reasons. First, they should check to see if there is any pertinent information or a proclamation that the court made orally that is not in the order. They should also determine if there are any other errors that may need to be rectified. Secondly, they should make a note of any important dates, schedules, or calls to action. If an order creates any financial rights or obligations, they should note that as well.
There are often terms in family law orders that are not readily understood. For example, if an order incorporates or incorporates and merges an agreement or stipulation, it essentially means that it becomes part of the order, making it enforceable both as a contract and via a family court action. In custody actions, the terms visitation and parenting time are used to refer to physical custody, while the term custody refers to legal custody. In any family law case in which an order is issued, it is prudent for anyone subject to the order to speak with a knowledgeable attorney to make sure they fully grasp its the scope and meaning.
Consequences of Not Abiding by Family Law Orders
Even if a party does not agree with the terms of a family court order, it is essential that they abide by them. If a party refuses to follow directives in a family court order, they may be held in civil contempt. Further, parents that refuse to comply with custody orders may lose some or all of their parental rights. Similarly, parties that decline to uphold their spousal or child support obligations could potentially have their wages garnished or face other consequences.
Meet with a Capable California Family Law Attorney
Family law cases can be complex, and it may not always be readily apparent what rights and obligations arise out of an order issued by the court. If you have questions regarding the interpretation and enforcement of a family law order, you should meet with an attorney to discuss its implications. The capable family law attorneys at the Bay Area Family Law Center can evaluate your case and advise you of your options for protecting your interests. You can reach us at 925-258-2020 or via the form online to set up a meeting.
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