Brandau & Waltz Law Offices LLP, La Crosse Wisconsin Divorce, Custody, Support, Family Law, Social Security, Disability, Workers Compensation, Personal Injury Law Firm
wisconsin & minnesota law firm
420 5th Avenue South, Suite B
La Crosse, Wisconsin 54602-0924

Tele: (608) 784-2050 FAX: 784-2120
Toll Free: 1-866-390-8047
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Enforcement of Court Orders

wisconsin - minnesota

Divorce & Family Law Attorney

Attorney Ann Brandau is a divorce and family law lawyer who has been helping people find solutions to their family law problems for more than two decades. She is very experienced in the laws of Wisconsin and Minnesota.

A Court Order

Before you can ask a court to enforce an order, an order must have been entered by a court, which is called a judgment. A final judgment of divorce (sometimes called a divorce decree, final order, dissolution of marriage, or just divorce order) includes provisions for child custody, child support, or family support. Once the court enters its final order, any person desiring a change to that order must ask the court that entered the order to reconsider its decision, appeal the court's decisions to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.

Revising A Court Order

A modification to any order of a court is a request of that court to revise its previous findings. In some situations, such as when there has been a substantial change in circumstances, a court will readily consider revising its previous order. If the court believes that the change in circumstances warrants a change to the previous order, a modification is made to the court's order.

Enforcing A Court Order

Having a court order does not necessarily mean that it will be obeyed by all parties to the order. For example, a parent who is ordered to pay child support, but fails to do so, is not abiding by the court's order. If a party to a court order does not obey the court's order, the court can "show cause" them, which means that the court issues a subpoena ordering them to appear before the court and show good cause as to why they have not abided by the court's previous order.

Enforcing Child Custody Orders

In order to enforce a child custody order, a court must have already issued its order. If a court has not yet entered a child custody order regarding your child, then you may need to petition a court for a child custody order.

If you were divorced by a Wisconsin or Minnesota court, the final judgment of divorce included child custody orders if you had a child with your previous spouse at the time of the divorce. If you were not married, but had a child with another person and subsequently asked a court to intervene regarding custody matters, then that court entered a child custody order.

If an order was entered by a court outside of Wisconsin, you should speak with Attorney Ann Brandau regarding the orders.

Enforcing Child Support Orders

In most child support cases, the Wisconsin child support agency under the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development will help a parent who is to receive support proceed through the system and obtain the necessary satisfaction from the court without additional attorney fees. However, there are cases in which the matter of collecting support is beyond the reach of the child support agency, and the parent needs to hire a private attorney.

Showing Cause To A Court

If the court is not satisfied with the reasons given for disobeying the court's order, the court can then take further action including assessing fines, hold them in contempt of court orders, or even order them to jail.

Enforcement Is Restricted

While a court will enforce an order that it previously entered, a court's ability to force parties to perform has its limitations. A court can only enforce orders binding on the parties to the original order. In other words, a divorce order may include a marital property, child custody and child support orders, but those orders are only binding the divorcees - the people who were divorced by the order.

For example, a court can divide property, order that the wife receive the family home, and order the husband to pay the mortgage. However, if the husband does not pay the mortgage, that order is not binding on the mortgage company because the mortgage company was not party to the divorce order.




Brandau & Waltz Law Offices, LLP
practicing in wisconsin & minnesota
For more than thirty combined years, Attorney Ann Brandau & Attorney Peter Waltz, the founders of the law offices of Brandau & Waltz have helped people across Wisconsin and Minnesota find workable, reliable, and effective solutions to their family law, divorce, custody, support, injury, worker's compensation, social security and other legal problems. Attorney Brandau and Attorney Waltz are licensed to practice law in both Wisconsin and Minnesota. Brandau & Waltz's attorneys frequently represent people whose cases are in La Crosse, Holmen, Prairie du Chien, Viroqua, Sparta, Black River Falls, Whitehall & Alma, Wisconsin, as well as Minneapolis, St. Paul, Wiona, Cottage Grove, Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Dakota, New Hartford, Hokah, Witoka and La Crescent, Minnesota.

Brandau & Waltz Law Offices, LLP is pleased to present their new website, developed in cooperation with Sigma One Group of Wisconsin, which highlights particular noteworthy mentions about the areas of law in which the lawyers at Brandau & Waltz practice.

Please contact us whenever we may help you find a solution to your legal issue.
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