Contempt of Court
Contempt of court often referred to simply as “contempt,” and is the offense of being disobedient or disrespectful towards a court of law and its officers in the form of behavior that opposes or defies authority, justice, and dignity of the court. It manifests itself in willful disregard of or disrespect for the authority of a court of law, which is often behavior that is illegal because it does not obey or respect the rules of a law court.
How does Contempt apply to Family & Divorce Law Issues?
Contempt is the willful violation of a legal court order.
These issues are usually presented in family law matters when a party fails to comply with a Court order for child support, payment of medical expenses, alimony, child custody and, visitation.
The party who is held is in contempt of court could be ordered to comply or face incarceration. The Court can also order the party who is in contempt to pay the opposing party’s attorney’s fees. This action must be filed in the Court that entered the original order. The petition for citation of contempt must also be served on the opposing party.
Is there a defense to a Contempt action?
Yes, if the violation of the court order was not willful or you did not violate the court order.
Examples of what you might be experiencing
- I paid my Child support on time but missed visitation due to shift work change.
- I paid my child support but missed my alimony payment due to sudden job loss.
- I missed my child support payment due to acute illness and hospitalization.
Note: You must take great care to follow your court order and not put yourself in jeopardy of breaking the law.
Should I file for Contempt?
If the other side is not following the order, then you should consider filing a motion for contempt.
Examples of what you might be experiencing:
- I am not receiving court-ordered child support.
- I am not receiving court-ordered alimony.
- I am not receiving court-ordered visitations.
It is always a good idea to consult with an attorney before filing this type of action.
If you live in the Atlanta area, consider S. Dixon Law Offices for your Family Law needs. Our office is located in Buckhead Atlanta near Phipps Plaza and Lenox Mall. Book your appointment to prevent further legal actions.
For Appointments Our Office Hours Are:
Monday – Thursday: 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.