Contempt Issues in Austin
Skilled Austin Divorce Attorney
Contempt issues occur when your spouse is failing to uphold their end of the deal in the aftermath of a divorce. Contempt cases include but are not limited to: failure to pay alimony, failure to follow visitation orders, failure to pay spousal support and failure to pay child support. Other issues can include when your spouse sells property that was awarded to you and so forth.
Contempt issues can get messy. Recently a man decided to take his kids on two weeks of vacation with him, but during that time, he wanted the children to spend the weekend with their grandparents. His ex-wife did not approve of this and threatened contempt. Contempt of court can involve: disobeying an order of the court, showing disrespect towards the judge, behaving in a way that discourages the court from functioning or publishing something that makes it difficult for the court to conduct a fair trial.
How to Prove Contempt
How does a judge prove that contempt occurred? The following must be true:
- A lawful order was issued
- The person in contempt was aware of the order
- The person was able to follow that order
- The person refused to follow the order
The final decree of divorce that was signed by the judge is a legally enforceable court order, and both you and your former spouse are required to abide by its terms or face serious consequences. If your ex-spouse is violating the order in any way, you should not have to handle the matter on your own-you got divorced so that you would not have to fight and argue anymore. The dispute is no longer between you and the other party, it is actually a matter for the court. An Austin divorce attorney from Menduni Martindill, PLLC can take on the responsibility of filing a motion for enforcement with the court.
The party who violates the court order can be held in contempt of court and subjected to penalties. If you are owed child support payments or alimony, you can provide documentation of the amount that is unpaid and request assistance from the court with enforcing compliance. The judge may order a wage garnishment or place a lien on the property of the delinquent party, as well as issuing a driver's license suspension. The court will also offer you a remedy if the other parent has custody and is denying your right to visitation.
Potential Penalties for Contempt
- You must pay back some or all of the back support you have been withholding
- You may have to pay a portion of your ex's attorney's fees
- You may be sent to jail
- The court can also assess fines, award compensatory visitation and change custody arrangements
If you have a protective order to protect you from your spouse or former spouse who committed domestic violence, you can take legal action when the order is violated. Depending on the terms of the protective order, the violating party can be arrested and taken to court for harassing you, stalking you or contacting you in any way. Any time you are confronted with noncompliance with a family law court order, you should seek the representation and support of an attorney. This type of situation can be difficult, but you can get help enforcing your rights.
Don't allow the situation to spiral out of control! It is important that you act now to protect your rights, to secure compensation for any assets of yours that was sold and to maintain a healthy relationship with your children. Contempt issues can get messy and should never be taken lightly. If your ex-spouse is failing to uphold his/her end of the deal, you should consult with a divorce attorney to see what action you should take. Contact our firm for representation against a former spouse who is violating the divorce or protective order!