Arizona Court Order Enforcements
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Enforcement of Court Orders in AZ

When a court issues an order, it is the responsibility of the person or entity to comply. This is the expectation of the court because when the original ruling is made, both sides agree to be bound by its terms. However, as time goes on, some people do not hold up their end of the agreement and ignore a court order. If this happens, some steps can be taken to enforce the court’s ruling.
Of course, sometimes people need help understanding the terms of a court order, what that court order means. and how to comply with it. However, there are also times when people intentionally ignore court orders. When this happens, our attorneys will take steps to enforce the order and ensure that the court order continues to serve our client’s best interests.

It’s important to note that failure to follow the terms of your divorce means that you’re in violation of a court order. In Arizona, failure to pay child support is a class VI felony, punishable by jail time, if necessary. Alternatively, the court may garnish wages, suspend professional license, or withhold tax refunds in order to secure the payment mandated.

If you have been adversely affected by the failure of your ex-spouse to meet the obligations listed within your divorce decree, an enforcement action may be your only recourse. Talk to us to start today, and secure the funds that you need to maintain yourself and your loved ones.

AZ Order Enforcement

What Types of Court Orders Are Commonly Violated?

There are many distinct types of court orders, and most are subject to violation by the people they affect.

Some of the most common types of court order violations include:

Restraining Orders/Protective Orders

These are often put in place to protect someone from being physically harmed by another person. If the restrained person violates the order, they can be arrested and charged with a crime.

Child Custody Orders

These orders detail which parent the child will live with, the visitation schedule, and how decisions will be made about the child’s upbringing. If a parent violates a child custody order, they can be held in contempt of court.

Child Support Orders

These orders require the non-custodial parent to pay a certain amount of money to the custodial parent to help support the child. If a parent does not pay child support, other creative solutions can be enforced to ensure the payments are made. For example, the order may be enforced by intercepting tax returns or putting a lien on property.

Enforcement of Court Orders in AZ

What is Rule 48 in Arizona?

Rule 48 of the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure allows a court to award temporary orders that do not require any formal notice or service of process on the other side.

A few common areas of application for Rule 48 orders include:

  • Child custody: A court can issue a Rule 48 order for child custody if there is an emergency and one parent needs to take temporary custody of the child for safety reasons, or to prevent them from being removed from the state.
  • Child support: A court can issue a Rule 48 order for child support if one parent is not paying the required amount of child support and there is an immediate need for the payments.
  • Spousal support: A court can issue a Rule 48 order for spousal support if one spouse is not paying the required amount of spousal support and the individual has experienced a financial emergency.
  • Domestic violence: A court can issue a Rule 48 order for domestic violence if one spouse needs immediate protection from a new or ongoing pattern of domestic violence.

Rule 48 can serve to get emergency relief from the court when someone is violating a court order. It is important to note that Rule 48 orders are only temporary. They are put in place while all legal stakeholders are working out a long-term solution.

How Do I Enforce a Custody Order in Arizona?

There are a few different ways to enforce a custody order in Arizona. The method that will work best in your case is dependent on the facts and circumstances involved. Some of the most common ways to enforce a custody order include the following.

Filing a Contempt Action

Contempt actions involve filing a court action alleging that the other parent has violated the custody order and asks the court to find them in contempt. If the court finds the other parent in contempt, they can be ordered to pay a fine, spend time in jail, or take other corrective action.

Asking the Court to Modify the Custody Order

Requesting modifications is often done when one parent repeatedly violates the custody order. If the court grants the modification, it will likely result in a change to the custody arrangement that is more favorable to the parent who filed the modification action.

Working With Law Enforcement

In some cases, you may be able to work with local law enforcement to enforce the custody order. For example, if the other parent refuses to turn over the child at the scheduled time, you can contact law enforcement and ask them to assist in enforcing the order.

Enforcing a custody order can be a complex process, so it is important to consult with an attorney to discuss your legal options. An attorney can help you ensure that you are taking the best possible action in your case.

What Happens if Someone Violates a Court Order in Arizona?

What Happens if Someone Violates a Court Order in Arizona?

If someone violates a court order in Arizona, they may be held in contempt of court. Contempt of court is when someone willfully disobeys a court order. There are two types of contempt in Arizona: civil contempt and criminal contempt.

Civil Contempt

Civil contempt is when someone violates a court order but can comply with the order if they choose to do so. For example, if someone is ordered to pay child support but refuses to do so, they can be held in civil contempt. Civil contempt exists to force the person to comply with the court order.

Criminal Contempt

Criminal contempt is when someone violates a court order and there is no way for them to comply with the order. An example of criminal contempt could occur when someone is ordered to have no contact with the other parent but violates that order by sending them threatening text messages. Criminal contempt exists to punish the person for violating the court order.

If found in contempt of court, the court can order a variety of different penalties, including but not limited to:

  • Fines
  • Jail time
  • Probation
  • Community service
  • Counseling

The specific penalties that will be imposed will depend on the facts and circumstances of the case, as well as the type of contempt that occurred. The court will make this official determination.

Contact The Valley Law Group for Enforcement of Court Orders

Enforcement of Court Orders


If you live in Arizona and need help enforcing a custody order, or if you have been accused of violating a court order, contact the experienced family law attorneys at The Valley Law Group, PLLC, today. Our attorneys have decades of experience handling all types of family law matters, including complex custody cases. We are mission driven advocates who will fight for you and your family until we obtain the best possible result in your case.

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