Contempt is defined as an intentional disobedience of a court order. It can occur by action (such as violating a restraining order) or failure to act (such as failing to pay ordered child support or alimony). You can use contempt during a divorce, parentage, or non-parent custody action to enforce final court orders.
It is important to understand that contempt is considered as the last resort since it may not always be the most effective remedy to the problem. Judges do not often find an individual in contempt unless the violation is substantial.
What If You Are Found In Contempt?
The goal of contempt is to ensure that the individual follows the court order in the future. The judge could order a person in contempt to either get counseling, complete a parenting class, look for employment a specific amount of hours a week, and even wage garnishments. However, if the judge determines the individual in contempt will probably not be able to obey the order in the future, the judge may file a motion to change the court order, enter a judgment for money due, or even order jail time.
In order to find a person in contempt, the court must find all of these factors to be true:
- A valid court order is in effect
- The other person is aware of the court order
- The facts demonstrate a clear violation of the order
- The other person was given a notice of the contempt hearing and a chance to be heard
- Contempt is a proper solution for the violation
How The Law Offices Of Jeffrey S. Graff Can Help
Whether you are being held in contempt or seeking to hold someone in contempt for blatant violation of a court order in a divorce/family law case, I am committed to helping you obtain the outcome you desire. In addition to providing skilled and reliable legal assistance in contempt cases, I am experienced in court order modifications.