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  1. #1
    bkthompson82473 is offline Junior Member
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    Motion to Enforce a Decree

    Dallas Texas

    I have a rather short question with a long explanation. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Few facts;
    Divorce was final in February 2010
    2 children 13 and 9

    My question is this; what do I need to do to file a motion to enforce the decree, and how seriously does the 303rd district court take the motions.

    To this point, the ex has blatantly disregarded a few items on the decree. Mainly talking about myself and the ex's own parents in a "disparaging manner or in a manner which might tend to undermine the love and affection that the child feels tor either parent or either parentís family". Proof being several text messages to the oldest child backed up on SMS box, and several comments and questions by both children. The ex's parents are in total dismay over the banishment from their daughter, and express concern over her temperament. We also had a social study done (but never made it to court) that expressed concern with the ex's temper and immaturity.

    The second thing is it states that we each have one child to use as a dependant for tax purposes. She decided this year to use both kids as dependants, causing my tax info to be rejected. I have called the IRS and asked them what to do, and they told me that they do not follow a divorce decree, only a line of questions. After the line of questions they determine who will and will not be able to claim the kids. She mentioned having the ex sign a form 8332 releasing the rights to claim one of the kids.

    There are also several occasions of failing to allow access to the kids during my scheduled times due to her being angry with myself or someone in my family. These are backed up by several text messages and e-mails.

    Bottom line, I cannot afford an attorney, and I plan on doing this on my own. Any advice from anyone here on how to stop the abuse of the divorce decree, and make sure that this never happens again?

    Thanks,
  2. #2
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkthompson82473 View Post
    Dallas Texas

    I have a rather short question with a long explanation. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Few facts;
    Divorce was final in February 2010
    2 children 13 and 9

    My question is this; what do I need to do to file a motion to enforce the decree, and how seriously does the 303rd district court take the motions.

    To this point, the ex has blatantly disregarded a few items on the decree. Mainly talking about myself and the ex's own parents in a "disparaging manner or in a manner which might tend to undermine the love and affection that the child feels tor either parent or either parentís family". Proof being several text messages to the oldest child backed up on SMS box, and several comments and questions by both children. The ex's parents are in total dismay over the banishment from their daughter, and express concern over her temperament. We also had a social study done (but never made it to court) that expressed concern with the ex's temper and immaturity.

    The second thing is it states that we each have one child to use as a dependant for tax purposes. She decided this year to use both kids as dependants, causing my tax info to be rejected. I have called the IRS and asked them what to do, and they told me that they do not follow a divorce decree, only a line of questions. After the line of questions they determine who will and will not be able to claim the kids. She mentioned having the ex sign a form 8332 releasing the rights to claim one of the kids.

    There are also several occasions of failing to allow access to the kids during my scheduled times due to her being angry with myself or someone in my family. These are backed up by several text messages and e-mails.

    Bottom line, I cannot afford an attorney, and I plan on doing this on my own. Any advice from anyone here on how to stop the abuse of the divorce decree, and make sure that this never happens again?

    Thanks,
    To be honest, its very difficult to do anything about the disparaging comments.

    However, the violation regarding the tax exemption for the child you were supposed to claim and any violations of the parenting/visitation orders are something that you can and should take to court.

    You do need to realize that the first trip to court for contempt sometimes results in nothing more than a stern lecture from the judge as far as violations of the parenting/visitation orders are concerned.

    The tax exemption issue will be taken more seriously. Make sure that you have filled out a form 8332 (including for tax year 2010) and ask the judge to order her to sign it in court.

    However, keep a couple of things in mind. If the children are with mom more than you, by overnights, then you are not allowed to claim EIC or the Daycare credit. You are only permitted to claim the child's exemption and the Child Tax credit. This is federal tax law and no state court order can override that.
  3. #3
    mistoffolees is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkthompson82473 View Post
    Dallas Texas

    I have a rather short question with a long explanation. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Few facts;
    Divorce was final in February 2010
    2 children 13 and 9

    My question is this; what do I need to do to file a motion to enforce the decree, and how seriously does the 303rd district court take the motions.

    To this point, the ex has blatantly disregarded a few items on the decree. Mainly talking about myself and the ex's own parents in a "disparaging manner or in a manner which might tend to undermine the love and affection that the child feels tor either parent or either parent’s family". Proof being several text messages to the oldest child backed up on SMS box, and several comments and questions by both children. The ex's parents are in total dismay over the banishment from their daughter, and express concern over her temperament. We also had a social study done (but never made it to court) that expressed concern with the ex's temper and immaturity.
    It's hard to enforce a no disparagement clause. Unless it's REALLY serious, it's not worth bothering. You simply come across as asking the court to stop ex from being mean to you.

    The kids will eventually realize the truth.

    Quote Originally Posted by bkthompson82473 View Post
    The second thing is it states that we each have one child to use as a dependant for tax purposes. She decided this year to use both kids as dependants, causing my tax info to be rejected. I have called the IRS and asked them what to do, and they told me that they do not follow a divorce decree, only a line of questions. After the line of questions they determine who will and will not be able to claim the kids. She mentioned having the ex sign a form 8332 releasing the rights to claim one of the kids.
    That is all correct. The IRS has a simple rule. Where did the kids spend the most nights during the tax year (if there's a tie, they use adjusted gross income as the tie breaker). So if you had the child the most nights, you simply claim the deduction (you'll probably have to submit a paper form rather than filing electronically if ex has already filed).

    If, OTOH, your ex had the most nights, then you need an 8332 form. I would send ex a firmly worded letter stating that you need the 8332 form by April 1 or you will be forced to file for her to be held in contempt which would require her to reimburse you for any costs (including lost taxes, legal expenses, filing fees, and interest) and could result in jail time for her.

    Quote Originally Posted by bkthompson82473 View Post
    There are also several occasions of failing to allow access to the kids during my scheduled times due to her being angry with myself or someone in my family. These are backed up by several text messages and e-mails.
    Text messages and emails might help, but aren't proof. Rather, I would show up at the assigned place to get your kids. If she refuses to allow them to go with you, call the police and ask them to come fill out a report. They can't do much else, but that report will prove that you made the effort and Mom wouldn't let the kids go with you.

    Quote Originally Posted by bkthompson82473 View Post
    Bottom line, I cannot afford an attorney, and I plan on doing this on my own. Any advice from anyone here on how to stop the abuse of the divorce decree, and make sure that this never happens again?
    There's absolutely no way to make sure it never happens again. Some people just never learn.

    However, you can ensure that the problem is fixed each and every time it happens. Eventually, your ex will get tired - or the judge will get tired of it and start ordering larger penalties.

    File a motion to show cause. Specifically list the exact wording of the order and the evidence that your ex has violated the order. Ask for full reimbursement of your expenses and compensatory time for the refused visitation.
  4. #4
    bkthompson82473 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistoffolees View Post
    It's hard to enforce a no disparagement clause. Unless it's REALLY serious, it's not worth bothering. You simply come across as asking the court to stop ex from being mean to you.

    The kids will eventually realize the truth.



    That is all correct. The IRS has a simple rule. Where did the kids spend the most nights during the tax year (if there's a tie, they use adjusted gross income as the tie breaker). So if you had the child the most nights, you simply claim the deduction (you'll probably have to submit a paper form rather than filing electronically if ex has already filed).

    If, OTOH, your ex had the most nights, then you need an 8332 form. I would send ex a firmly worded letter stating that you need the 8332 form by April 1 or you will be forced to file for her to be held in contempt which would require her to reimburse you for any costs (including lost taxes, legal expenses, filing fees, and interest) and could result in jail time for her.



    Text messages and emails might help, but aren't proof. Rather, I would show up at the assigned place to get your kids. If she refuses to allow them to go with you, call the police and ask them to come fill out a report. They can't do much else, but that report will prove that you made the effort and Mom wouldn't let the kids go with you.



    There's absolutely no way to make sure it never happens again. Some people just never learn.

    However, you can ensure that the problem is fixed each and every time it happens. Eventually, your ex will get tired - or the judge will get tired of it and start ordering larger penalties.

    File a motion to show cause. Specifically list the exact wording of the order and the evidence that your ex has violated the order. Ask for full reimbursement of your expenses and compensatory time for the refused visitation.
    Thanks for the advice. Any clue how to file the motion to show cause? I'm assuming that this is something I can do on my own, but is it as simple as going to the courthouse and filling out a complaint?
  5. #5
    mistoffolees is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkthompson82473 View Post
    Thanks for the advice. Any clue how to file the motion to show cause? I'm assuming that this is something I can do on my own, but is it as simple as going to the courthouse and filling out a complaint?
    Go to the court house to the court clerk's office and ask for the appropriate instructions for a motion to show cause. Or it could be online. Also look for the court rules and procedures so you don't make a fool of yourself in court.
  6. #6
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkthompson82473 View Post
    Thanks for the advice. Any clue how to file the motion to show cause? I'm assuming that this is something I can do on my own, but is it as simple as going to the courthouse and filling out a complaint?
    I am going to contradict just one small bit of Misto's advice. Don't threaten her with the potential of jail time, because there is almost no chance of that happening...at least not the first few times to court for contempt. If she gets advice from anyone, after you make that threat, and she finds out its not credible, then it will lessen the impact of your message.
  7. #7
    Bali Hai is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    I am going to contradict just one small bit of Misto's advice. Don't threaten her with the potential of jail time, because there is almost no chance of that happening...at least not the first few times to court for contempt. If she gets advice from anyone, after you make that threat, and she finds out its not credible, then it will lessen the impact of your message.
    That's odd, the FIRST time I appeared in court for contempt, the judge threatened me with jail time.

    And it wasn't even me that was in contempt, it was her and her idiot lawyer!
    Last edited by Bali Hai; 03-15-2011 at 08:17 AM.
  8. #8
    mistoffolees is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    I am going to contradict just one small bit of Misto's advice. Don't threaten her with the potential of jail time, because there is almost no chance of that happening...at least not the first few times to court for contempt. If she gets advice from anyone, after you make that threat, and she finds out its not credible, then it will lessen the impact of your message.
    Obviously, only an idiot would start out by saying "you're going to jail".

    But OP could cite the statute that lists the penalties for contempt - and let ex figure it out.

    Oh, and btw, there are plenty of cases where people did jail time for contempt.
  9. #9
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistoffolees View Post
    Obviously, only an idiot would start out by saying "you're going to jail".

    But OP could cite the statute that lists the penalties for contempt - and let ex figure it out.

    Oh, and btw, there are plenty of cases where people did jail time for contempt.
    The bolded would work. Yes I agree that people have gone to jail for contempt, but in a family law situation it would be a very rare thing to happen on the first trip to court for contempt.

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