Once the court issues an Order, you have a governing document that can be enforced if it is not followed. When one party fails to follow the court order, blatantly disobeys the court Order, or willfully disregards the Court Order, a party may petition the court for a contempt action to enforce the order.
Petition for Contempt
Common complaints for a petition for contempt in a family law matter may include the following:
- a denial of visitation or access to a parent,
- a parent's failure to pay child support,
- a parent's failure to provide the child with health or medical insurance,
- a parent's failure to provide the other parent with the child's medical insurance cards, social security cards, report cards, or school information
- a parent's failure to identify medical providers, physicians or facilities that a child attends,
- a parent's unauthorized withdrawal of a child from school
- a parent's failure to enroll a child in school, or take a child to school,
- a spouse's obligation to pay alimony or spousal support,
- a spouse's obligation to dispose of a marital asset, sell real property,
- a parent's failure to provide the other parent with information regarding joint legal custody issues
- a parent's unilateral decisions made on behalf of a child for joint legal custody issues
Any issue outlined within a court order and willfully disobeyed or disregarded may be petitioned for contempt.
A Petition for Contempt will need to contain facts of the alleged contempt, and include the requested relief of the petitioner.
Jail time can be requested in a Petition for Contempt. If jail time is requested, the opposing party has a right to have an attorney.
A party can file a Petition for Contempt with or without an attorney, but a lawyer can be helpful to assist with the process including when to file, how to file, what relief to request and following the court procedures. Talk to a lawyer and know your rights when preparing and filing a Petition for Contempt or pursuing a petition for contempt after it has been filed, contact our legal team at (410) 415-3617.