Family Law: Contempt of Court
A court that renders a final decree of divorce retains the power to enforce all aspects of the divorce decree. If either party to the divorce violates the court ordered divorce decree without, first motioning the court for modification that party is said to be in “contempt of court.”
Motion For Contempt of Court
If your ex-spouse violates any aspect of the final decree of divorce, you can file a motion for contempt of court. A copy of the contempt motion would be served upon your ex-spouse.
The motion would state which areas of the final decree have been violated and why the ex-spouse should be held in contempt of court. The burden of proof during a contempt hearing is on the injured party. If you feel there has been contempt, be prepared when you go to court to proof your accusations. Some issues that are commonly violated are:
Guilty of Contempt of Court:
If you are able to prove that your ex-spouse is in violation of the court ordered divorce decree then they may be imprisoned for as long as the contempt continues, they could be fined and they could be ordered to reimburse you for your attorney fees and courts costs. Most judges will give them the chance to immediately comply with the aspect they are in violation of. If they can’t or don’t comply a judge will order them jailed until they do.
The judge will write an order holding your ex-spouse in contempt and specifying how they can purge themselves of the contempt. The judge may order them to immediately comply or give them a certain amount of time to comply. Every state has laws that would allow your ex-spouse to seek an early release or no jail time at all. Some grounds for no jail time are:
- No one to care for dependent children.
- Possible loss of his/her job.
- Physical or emotional disabilities.
- Proven inability to comply with the court order.
If you would like to file a Contempt Action, also known as a motion to show cause (why your ex-spouse should not be held in contempt), or you have been served with a motion to show cause (contempt motion), then contact Attorney Jeffrey G. Edleman in Amherst, Ohio. We represent clients in pursuing and defending contempt actions.
Jeffrey G. Edleman
Attorney At Law
260 S. Main St., Suite 108
Amherst, OH 44001
T: (440) 823-4077
F: (440) 984-3338