Texans who find it necessary to enforce the terms of their divorce decrees and annulments may be able to rely on litigation. These lawsuits usually adhere to similar structures as civil lawsuits, for instance, courts may find parties in contempt or award attorney’s fees; the difference lies in the fact that the orders issued in such proceedings generally pertain to domestic relations and prior agreements.
According to the state’s Family Code, the power to enforce annulments and divorce decrees resides with the courts that originally issued them. It should be noted that these courts are legally limited in the types of actions they can take in pursuit of resolution; making alterations and changes to original decree terms, such as property division, is expressly forbidden. Former spouses do retain the right, however, to file division lawsuits over property that wasn’t split in an earlier agreement.
The state’s family law codes also lay out explicit terms for facilitating delivery of existing property, determining who has the right to future properties and the applicable court fees that involved parties need to pay. Provisions are also made for filing deadlines and the court’s ongoing power to take enforcement actions after an official decree.
Individuals don’t lose their legal rights to mediation and resolution just because their relationships have ended. Even though courts are limited in their power to change official agreements, Texans can still pursue judgements, enforcement and further examination of asset holdings in order to protect their families and their futures. Because the scope of the state’s family law code is so broad, however, many people seek legal advisement on how best to leverage the rules in their favor.
Source: Texas Constitution and Statutes, “SUBCHAPTER A. SUIT TO ENFORCE DECREE“, October 29, 2014