The orders created by a divorce or family law court are effectively “private laws” that apply just to the people involved in the related case. As such, failing to follow those new rules can lead to some serious legal consequences. The legal term for someone who has not followed divorce court orders is being in contempt of court.
How can a divorcee become contempt of court? There are a few common ways:
- Failing to pay child support
- Failing to pay spousal support
- Refusing to surrender marital property
People can also be found in contempt of court for disobeying the Judge in the courtroom. For example, if you are in divorce court and your soon-to-be ex-spouse is refusing to answer fair questions prompted by your attorney, or they are berating you continually and after a warning to cease, they could be placed in contempt of court.
Penalties for Becoming Contempt of Court
People who are found to be in contempt of court could be faced with a variety of penalties and consequences. In most cases, the offender will be hit with civil penalties, such as being ordered by the court to comply with previous orders. Continued failure to meet the orders of the court, or if initial offenses were egregious, could trigger criminal penalties, like fines and jail time.
Holding an Ex-Spouse in Contempt
The problem with people being in contempt of court orders is that the Judge rarely knows it is happening unless it is a situation in which someone is causing trouble directly in court. Violations of court orders are typically brought to the attention of the court by the ex-spouse who is being negatively affected by the contemptuous actions of the other spouse. When this happens, a Motion for Contempt will be necessary.
For legal help and guidance to file a Motion for Contempt, come to Weis Law Group in Columbus, Ohio. Our family lawyers and divorce attorneys are ready to stand by your side and make certain your divorce orders are upheld as intended. We bring 20+ years of collective legal experience to every case we handle.