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Contempt of Court

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Obtaining a Court Order defining parental rights may be a time consuming, costly and an emotionally draining process in itself.   Enforcing that Order often creates a whole new set of challenges. What can be done when the Court enters an Order on time sharing or support and one spouse refuses to comply? One option may be to seek the contempt powers of the Court.

There is a distinction between civil and criminal contempt proceedings, and determining whether the contempt is civil or criminal is critical to the Court and to the parties. Criminal contempt proceedings are utilized to vindicate the authority of the Court or to punish a party for an intentional violation of a Court order. Since a jail sentence may be imposed, the non-compliant party is entitled to the constitutional due process protections afforded to criminal defendants. That means that the non-compliant parent be afforded the right to be represented by counsel, the right to have the State prove the offense beyond a reasonable doubt, and the right not to incriminate oneself. In contrast, civil contempt proceeding are intended to compel compliance with Court orders. In this case, the non-compliant party must be provided notice and an opportunity to be heard. Sanctions imposed may include jail and there will be an opportunity to purge the contempt by compliance with the order. If the non-compliant party Apurges@ the contempt he/she will avoid the penalty. By way of example, if a parent refuses to pay child support, upon finding of a willful refusal to pay coupled with an ability to pay, the Court can enter an order of contempt and impose a jail sentance. The contemnor will be provided an opportunity to purge the contempt by making the requisite payment within a set number of days and avoid the incarceration. Alternatively, if the contemnor is incarcerated, upon making the requisite payment he/she will be released. In essence, the contemnor to carries the keys to his/her jail cell such that upon compliance with the Court order he/she would be released from jail.

If you find yourself faced with a recalcitrant ex-spouse who refuses to comply with an Order of the Court you may need to file a motion for contempt. In this case, it is best to seek out the help of an experienced Boca Raton family law lawyer. With the help of an experienced lawyer, you can ensure proper steps are followed and you can obtain the best possible result.

Helping You Find A Solution

When a former spouse refused to comply with a Court ordered support obligation you do have recourse. The Court may enter an order of contempt as well as the following:

  • Monetary judgments B The court may award a money for back alimony or child support.
  • Wage garnishments B The court may garnish wages from the recalcitrant spouse.
  • Driver=s license suspension B The court can suspend the driver=s license of the individual who is in contempt.

If you find yourself faced with a Motion for Contempt of court, you may need representation. Our Boca Raton divorce attorney represents clients facing contempt and will work to find a solution. You may have a valid defense to a contempt charge. A resolution may be acheived by simply reaching a modification agreement.

Reliable & Trustworthy Guidance

Ronald M. Zakarin will assist you through the legal processes, provide you advice and guidance and endeavor to ensure you receive the best outcome.

Contact Attorney Ronald M. Zakarin For Family Law Matters

If your former spouse or the parent of your child is not complying with a court order, they may be in contempt of court. When you retain the Law Offices of Ronald M. Zakarin, P.A., you will receive the guidance and advice that you need to successfully enforce a Court order. To learn more, call today at 561-338-5297 to schedule your free consultation.