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Johnna Teal and Associates

Johnna Teal & Associates

Texas Family Law Firm









Enforcing Existing Court Orders


Child Support ● Visitation


At The Law Office of Johnna Teal, we have handled hundreds of enforcement and modification actions and understand how confusing and difficult these processes can be.  An enforcement of visitation or child support also known as contempt is a process by which a parent (through an attorney) requests the court to enforce certain provisions of the court order due to the other parent’s failure to comply with the court order.  A contempt filing could include the failure to pay the accurate amount of child support, visitation denial, failure to return the child at the correct time, failing to maintain health insurance, failing to notify a parent of a change of address, etc.  The finding of contempt by a court can result in a parent being incarcerated, being placed on probation for up to ten years, court fines and repayment of the other parent’s attorney fees. 


Contempt filings require a higher standard of proof than any other type of family case because jail time and probation are possible consequences.  As such, the burden of proof required is something that needs to be discussed early on in the process and well before the contempt action can be filed.  Our office normally requires at least three documented visitation attempts before we allow the visitation contempt petition to be filed.  A child support payment history may be all that is required in child support contempt actions; although other factors and consideration for any contempt filing will have to be discussed in depth before contempt proceedings can be initiated. 


Another enforcement process that is not discussed a lot by most attorneys is a process called a habeas corpus proceeding.  Filing for a writ of habeas corpus is a process which allows for the immediate surrender of a child when a parent has refused to turn the child over for court ordered visitation or when a non-parent with no legal rights has possession of the child and refuses to turn the child over to a parent or person who is legally entitled to the child.  A habeas corpus proceeding typically takes 3-10 days from the initiation of the process to turnover of the child. This type of proceeding is most useful for extended periods of possession when court is in session, such as for Christmas, Spring Break or summertime visitation. 


Don't waste time hiring an attorney who is not familiar with the process of filing contempt and habeas corpus actions as this will just make the process longer and you could lose the opportunity to litigate the issue in the future. 


Call today (713) 222-8200 to discuss your enforcement options and let me help you cut through the red tape and get you the results that you want and deserve.

Houston Office:

Johnna Teal & Associates


4100 Milam Street

Houston, Texas 77006

Phone: (713) 222.8200