When Does a Court Order Start Being Enforceable?

Imagine you’re in court for a hearing. Your attorney talked. Your spouse’s attorney talked. Then, the commissioner talked. (If you don’t know what a commissioner does, read here.)

When the commissioner talked, he or she gave what are called orders. Orders are, well, orders. You’re being ordered to do something. It could be child custody orders (where and with whom your child stays), alimony orders, child support orders, etc.

The problem with orders given in court is they’re not written down. So, until you get a written order you have to try and remember what the court said so you can follow it.

The process for getting a written order is a bit involved and can take a while (a month or more is not uncommon; nothing happens quickly in the law).

So, while you’re waiting for the written order, everyone asks the same question: When does the order start being enforceable?

Well, When Is it?

The answer is pretty easy: a court order becomes enforceable when voice by the court.

Yep, the moment the court voices an order, it becomes effective and enforceable. No one gets a free pass until it’s written down.

It’s that simple.

It’s not quite that Simple

So, I lied: it’s not quite that simple. Sometimes, a commissioner will voice an order and then say it won’t become effective until some later time (e.g., a week or month in the future).

This doesn’t happen very often. I’ve seen it maybe once or twice in my career, and every time it’s happened, the commissioner is really clear that the order will start on a certain day in the future.

So, about 99.99% of the time, it’s that simple.

Published On: July 31st, 2016Categories: Enforcing Court OrdersComments Off on When Does a Court Order Start Being Enforceable?
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About the Author: Marco Brown
Marco C. Brown was named Utah’s Outstanding Family Law Lawyer of the Year in 2015. He graduated with distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2007 and is currently the managing partner of Brown Family Law, LLC.
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