Contempt of Court – The Basics in Divorce or Family Law Cases (Adapted from NW Justice Project) Part IV – The court finds contempt

Part I defined contempt as intentionally disobeying a court order. A family law attorney is your best resource for determining if contempt is appropriate in your case.

Part II provided questions to answer with your family law attorney to determine if seeking action for contempt is right for your case.

Part III discussed the risks associated with filing contempt which could have unintended consequences that should be discussed with your family law attorney.

What happens if the court finds contempt? The goal of the court is to have the party in violation of the order and found of contempt to following the court order going forward. This can be achieved by having the judge order the person to take certain actions.

A judge can order actions such as getting counseling or completing parenting class. Requiring the person to look for work a certain number of hours per week is another action that could be ordered by a judge.

For parenting plan violations, a judge might order a parent receive make-up time with children, award attorney’s fees, order a civil penalty (a fine), or in the case of a second violation in three years, a judge could order greater penalties.

To ensure the person found in contempt is following the court order going forward, the judge may order future hearings to affirm the person is no longer in violation of the order.

When faced with the difficult decision to seek remedy for the violation of a court order, the advice of a family law attorney or divorce lawyer will help determine whether or not to pursue contempt filing is the right choice for you case.