Violating a family court order is known as contempt. Regardless of how happy you are with the logistics surrounding your divorce case, you will need to follow the terms and conditions in the decree unless you have put in a “stay pending appeal.” There are a number of instances when you may be looking at filing a contempt motion or you may be accused of violating a court order. In general, the contempt process includes a testimony from both partners, as well as submission of the documented evidence that a family court order has been violated.
Violating Your Divorce Conditions
You could be faced with a motion of contempt when one of the parties has:
- violated parenting time arrangements,
- failed to pay child support or is not paying the full amount,
- failed to pay spousal maintenance or is not paying the full amount,
- withheld property from the court, or
- moved out of state with a child without court permission.
If your ex spouse has violated a court order, you may not know what to do. Contacting him or her directly and demanding an answer may not get you the results you want. This is why it is so important to speak to a US contempt attorney. We can help you file a contempt motion and ensure that your ex-partner’s actions are not allowed. We can guide you through this legal mess and ensure that everything returns to the way it should be as soon as possible.
The Contempt Process
Violating a court order comes with several severe consequences which can include:
- prison time,
- hefty fines,
- payment of fees, and
- transfer of property.
However, before this happens, the following requirements must be met:
- the court must have jurisdiction,
- the party filing a contempt motion must show that their ex-spouse did not comply with a court order or follow the requirements of the divorce decree, and
- the contemnor must be given an opportunity to be present at a hearing and will be given the chance to explain the reasons for failure to comply.
Avoiding the Contempt Process
Not all divorce terms and conditions are set in stone, especially when it comes to child custody. Things can change down the road – you may want to remarry; you may want to move out of state; or you may have a new job. Whatever the case, there are ways to have your divorce conditions modified without violating the family court order. The contempt process provides a civil way to handle violations and ensure that no one, especially any children involved, are suffering because of it.
If you are unable to pay your child support, your spousal support, or have other problems where you may need to violate the terms and conditions of your divorce, contact a US family lawyer as soon as possible. You do not want to go through the contempt process and face possible jail time. Talk to lawyer first about your options and how to move forward when faced with a change of circumstances.