Sometimes contempt motions have to be made in family law cases and these motions may be filed when one of the parties have violated an order to pay child support, violated parenting time arrangements, failed to pay alimony, relocated out of state with a child without court consent, or withheld property. If any court order has been violated after a divorce, that is contempt of court and it does have penalties.
Basically, contempt is considered “disobedience.” This is a measure that is used to ensure that the parties in a family law dispute comply with court orders. The requirements that must be met include:
- The party that is filing the motion must show that there were obligations not performed under the court order. They must provide examples of the other party’s failure to perform
- The court must have jurisdiction over the case
- The person in contempt must be given the opportunity to prove that they did comply. This is done through a hearing. If they did not comply, they are given the opportunity to explain why.
Each side will testify in a hearing and each party will be given the opportunity to submit evidence.
As for the penalties, there may be a conditional penalty imposed by the court. This could include a fine, time in jail, fees, property transfer, or another type of judgment. Penalties are always conditional and allow the person in contempt to comply with the court order. If the conditions are broken, then a second hearing is held so that the actual penalty can be put into force.
Overall, contempt of court is rather cut and dry. As long as a person complies with the orders, they do not have to worry about being in contempt.