Welcome to the Enforcement department of Divorce and FamilyLawService Center. Here we will discuss what enforcement means, when it is necessary, and which Family Law issues commonly involve enforcement; from divorce and child support to paternity and obtaining dna samlpes. We will also cover agencies and other resources that have been created to aid individuals in the enforcement process. For further information please visit the Child Support and Paternity departments of Divorce and FamilyLawService Center.

What does enforcement mean?

Enforcement may be necessary when one party fails to voluntarily comply with court orders. In the legal system a decree (as in a divorce decree) is a court order. The enforcement of decrees requires a separate legal proceeding, most commonly a contempt of court proceeding. A court can only enforce decrees or orders that are final.

Enforcement and Family Law

The most two common issues within Family Law where enforcement may be necessary are: when one party is not following the final divorce decree as it deals with child and spousal support and when an alleged father who is reluctant openly declare paternity refuses the collection of a dna sample. Please see our Child Support and Paternity departments for more information.

Enforcement Resources and Agencies

Child Support Enforcement Program

The Child Support Enforcement Program unifies local county agencies with state and federal agencies within the United States to share information needed to enforce child support orders that are not being paid, and locating alleged fathers for the purposes of a dna test to secure paternity.

The Uniform Family Support Act (UIFSA)

Because child and spousal support laws vary so much throughout the states, this act was implemented to determine the power and jurisdiction of the courts in different states whenever more than one state is involved in the establishing, enforcing, or modifying a child or spousal support order.

Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS)

The Federal Parent Locator Service is a nationwide computer system that tracks and locates non-custodial parents who owe child support; and tracks and locates all parents (custodial and non) named in a divorce decree for purposes of child support, child visitation, and child custody orders. This service tracks support orders across state lines. Private individuals usually have to go through state agencies and the courts to use this service.