Santa Clarita Divorce | Filing For Contempt Of Court For Divorce
While we handle both uncontested and contested divorce cases, every once and a while we will recommend that you file a Contempt of Court motion. I wanted to discussed the filing of Contempt of Court and when you may want to use it as I am in the middle of completing a contempt of court for child support for a client.
When you have a court order and the other spouse is not following the order of the court, you have “contempt of court”. When this happens you have 2 choices. You can either file a regular Request For Order (motion for hearing) asking that the court compel the other party to comply with the previous order. Second you file for Contempt of Court.
The difference is that when you ask the court to compel the other party to comply with previously given orders, usually all the court will do is admonish the other party harshly and advise them to comply. It seems odd to have to go to court to have the court order the other party to do something that they have already ordered them to do.
This is where Contempt of Court comes in handy. Contempt of Court is actually criminal in nature. If the court finds the other party in Contempt, the possible penalties include jail sentence, community service, and fine. It is a serious offense to file against or be accused of Contempt of Court and the penalties can be $1,000 or community service per count of contempt. You can read the article where we discuss the penalties of California contempt of court cases here.
When I say each count of contempt, i am referring to the fact that, for instance, if you missed 5 payments for child support, each of those missed payments is a count of contempt. So you can see that the charges really can add up.
So what would be some of the uses for contempt of court?
- Contempt of Court of California Child Support Orders
- Contempt of Court of California Spousal Support Orders
- Contempt of Court for Failure To Pay Attorney Fees
- Contempt of Court for Failure To Follow an order to seek work
- Contempt of Court for violation of domestic violence or other restraining orders
- Contempt of Court to enforce nonpayment of the debt
- Contempt of Court of California child custody and visitation orders
- Contempt of Court for failure to pay an equalization payment
- Contempt of Court in splitting property assets
The above contempt of court charges are the most common. Probably the most filed contempt of court charges are in relation to contempt or child support and spousal support.
If you need assistance filing a contempt of court case against your spouse please give us a call.