Remedies for Contempt
More Family Topics
Remedies for Contempt Issues
The most common post-divorce complaints center around one person claiming their ex-spouse is not in compliance with a parenting plan or settlement agreement. This is particularly true regarding, child support payments, alimony payments, visitation and custody. In almost every instance, informal communications between the two parties has failed to resolve the problem. If this is the case, it may be appropriate to file a contempt action to force compliance.
What Does a Contempt Action Do?
The purpose of a contempt action is to force compliance with a court order, and address any associated grievances.
Filing a contempt action will bring both parties together for civil litigation involving family court. If the presiding judge is in agreement that the defendant is indeed in contempt their are several potential outcomes.
Punishments for Contempt
For relatively minor infractions the defendant may get a reprimand and given the opportunity to amend the situation right away, such as paying past due child support without further delay.
For egregious non-compliance the outcomes will probably include fines, jail time, and correcting active shortcomings (i.e., paying past due amounts).
For highly egregious non-compliance with child support orders the defendant may be found to be in violation of federal laws. If child support payments are over two years past due, or in excess of $10,000 the defendant is subject to federal incarceration, fines and more.
In addition to the civil and criminal penalties listed above, a judge may require the defendant to pay the plaintiffs attorney fees.