Orange County Court Order Enforcement Lawyer
In a perfect world, court orders would have no gray areas and everyone would willingly follow these orders down to the last detail. But we don’t live in a perfect world. Common enforcement issues include denial of visitation, up to and including child kidnapping. Most cell phone Amber Alerts involve these situations. FSO (Family Support Obligation) enforcement actions are often necessary as well. Depending on the amount of arrearage and a few other factors, available remedies include everything from a warning shot to enforced incarceration.
The dedicated Orange County court order enforcement lawyer at The Law Office of Robert Sunshine works very hard to find long lasting and cost effective solutions for families throughout the Empire State. Hard work is only part of our formula for success. We also believe in zealous client advocacy and open communication throughout the process. Our team never settles for anything less than the best possible result under the circumstances, and we never want you to be in the dark.
Child visitation enforcement actions often involve Parental Alienation Syndrome, a controversial condition once known as maternal brainwashing. The alienating parent, usually the mother, tried to drive an emotional wedge between the children and the targeted parent, who is usually the father.
Evidence of PAS includes intentionally scheduling activities for the child on the other parent’s weekend, altering exchange times at the last minute, and giving the child special privileges, like a later bedtime, while saying something like “I bet you don’t get to stay up late at Mom’s/Dad’s house.”
Self-help remedies are another issue. If Father picks up Susie an hour early, Mother cannot pick up Susie an hour early to make up for lost time.
Not every missed exchange or dropped weekend is evidence of PAS or intentional misconduct. Most judges want to see a pattern of conduct. As James Bond author Ian Fleming once wrote, once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, and thrice is enemy action.
FSO enforcement is a bit different. Usually, if the obligee takes action early, before the obligor’s arrearage gets too large, the results are better.
Frequently, obligors fall behind because of circumstances beyond their control, like business downturn or temporary unemployment. These obligors often want to do the right thing, but they don’t know how to get started. Our Orange County family law enforcement lawyers often send these obligors letters, which offer them to pay some of the arrearage upfront and set up a payment plan for the rest.
More advanced methods include a credit or property lien or a wage withholding order. New York law allows an obligee to withhold up to 50 percent of an obligor’s net income.
Extreme measures, like jail time, are available as well, usually if the obligor has repeatedly ignored requests for payment and has dodged withholding orders. It’s amazing how quickly obligors can pay even huge sums of money if their liberty is at stake.
Avoiding Enforcement Actions
Frequently, a stitch in time saves nine. Mediation, which gives the parties more control over the outcome, often eliminates the need for time-consuming enforcement actions.
Usually, lawyers begin informal settlement negotiations almost immediately. If these talks break down or stall, Orange County judges usually appoint mediators. A professional mediator ensures that both sides negotiate in good faith. They cannot make low-ball offers or simply go through the motions.
Largely because of the additional court supervision element, mediation in Orange County is about 90 percent successful.
Reach Out to a Thorough Clarkstown Attorney
Family law matters almost always involve emotional and financial issues. For a confidential consultation with an experienced Orange County enforcement of court orders lawyer, contact The Law Office of Robert S. Sunshine, P.C. Convenient payment plans are available.