If you've had a divorce, child custody case, or child support case, you have an agreement and/or court order requiring you to follow certain rules, like paying child support, alimony, or following a visitation schedule. Sometimes your ex-spouse or child's parent refuses to follow the terms of your court order. In these cases, you can ask the court to hold that person in “contempt of court.”
Contempt cases arise for a variety of reasons. You may want to ask the court to hold the other party in your case in contempt for any of the following reasons:
- your child's other parent fails to pay child support
- your child's other parent is blocking communication or visitation
- your ex-spouse is refusing to pay alimony as ordered
- your ex-spouse isn't following a property settlement agreement, or
- any other provision in a court order that the other party refuses to follow.
Judges can impose different penalties on a party that violates a court order, depending on the violation. For example, the court can order make-up visitation for a parent who has missed visitation periods due to the other parent blocking visits. A judge can order a payment plan for a parent behind on alimony or child support, or order that child support be taken directly from a paycheck. In extreme cases, the court can even place the violating party in jail.
If your ex-spouse or child's parent is refusing to follow a court order, set up a consultation to see what possible remedies you may have.