Contempt of Court

Contempt of Court

What is Contempt in a Divorce?

Contempt of court in the context of divorce refers to a situation where one party violates requirements of the divorce decree or Parenting Plan. More specifically, contempt can occur when a person willfully disobeys a court order, such as those pertaining to child custody, visitation, spousal support, property division, or any other legally binding agreement issued by the court.

An example is, if a court issues an order requiring one spouse to make monthly spousal support payments to the other and the paying spouse intentionally refuses to make those payments, that could be considered contempt of court. Similarly, if a court orders a specific visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent, and the custodial parent deliberately interferes with or denies the scheduled visits, it may be deemed contempt.

Here are some common situations where a contempt of court motion might be useful:

  • Failure to pay support. This includes child support or spousal support ordered by the court.
  • Violation of custody or visitation orders. Interference with the other parent's visitation rights or withholding the child in violation of a court-ordered custody arrangement can be grounds for contempt.
  • Non-compliance with property division orders. If there's a court order specifying how marital property should be divided, failure to comply with those instructions could lead to contempt charges.

What Happens When You Are in Contempt of Court in a Divorce?

When a person is found in contempt of court, the court has the authority to impose penalties, which might include fines, attorney's fees, and in extreme cases, jail time. The specific consequences vary depending on the county, judge, and facts of the situation.

How to File Contempt of Divorce Decree

It's important for individuals involved in divorce proceedings to take court orders seriously and to seek legal advice if issues arise. If a party believes the other is in contempt, they may need to file a motion with the court to address the alleged violations.

Defending Charges of Contempt

Have you been accused or charged with contempt? Our law firm can represent you for divorce-related contempt issues. If there are compelling reasons as to why you are not in compliance the court may be able to actually help you. If the reasons are beyond your control, such as lost your job, became critically ill or injured the court may work with you. Our job is to prepare and present your side of the story and find a reasonable solution to avoid jail or fines.

Meeting with a family law attorney is your opportunity to get answers to questions and learn about options.

Get the legal help you need. Contact an experienced family lawyer . Call 706-253-3060 or contact us online.