Contempt Of Court

Contempt Of Court

Contempt Of Court

 

Violating a court order can subject a party to contempt sanctions. However, the purpose for seeking such sanctions should be explored. In many cases, the desired goal is not achieved via contempt. If your desired goal is to protect your child from a parent who is not complying with those orders, I am not convinced that contempt sanctions is the proper remedy to pursue.
The remedial contempt route is sought when trying to compel a party’s compliance, such as compelling a payor to pay court ordered child support. Are you wanting to compel the child’s mother to set up the supervised visitation and begin that visitation? If so, this would be the avenue. However, it is not a quick remedy by any means. You must file the paperwork and await the issued Order and Citation. Then you must serve the paperwork on the party at least 21 days before an advisement. At that advisement, the evidentiary hearing is set into the future.

A punitive contempt is pursued as punishment. It is utilized when the violation is willful and in derogation of the authority and dignity of the Court. Although violations of court orders are disfavored, filing for punitive contempt can make the party seeking it look bad as well. The court looks to why a parent would be seeking to punish the other parent. This is a rare sanction to seek against a parent who is not exercising court ordered parenting time. It is more commonly used when support is consistently not being paid or if a parent is interfering with the other parent’s parenting time.
If you are considering contempt sanctions because you want the court to be aware that the other party is not complying, I would not go the contempt sanctions route. If you have a future evidentiary hearing set, the non-compliance is your best evidence and the longer the other party doesn’t comply the worse for their case. At the evidentiary hearing, you can alert the court of the non-compliance, which will not please the court and will likely result in no new orders in that party’s favor.

 

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