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Contempt Hearings
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Soler & Slack PA

Contempt Hearings

So what do you do when your ex-spouse is not abiding by the parenting plan, property division agreement, or any other court-ordered term of your divorce? Usually, the only recourse for non-compliance with some court-ordered term is filing a motion for contempt and then letting a judge determine what, if any, sanction should be imposed as a result of the noncompliance.

What is a motion for contempt?

First, "contempt" is, simply, not doing what a judge orders one to do. On television shows, judges will often threaten to "hold somebody in contempt" if they do not behave themselves in the courtroom. While judges can hold somebody in contempt by disrupting court proceedings in some way, it is more common that judges will find someone in contempt when a motion is filed requesting that a person be held in contempt.

Upon the dissolution of a marriage, the court will order many things to be done – dividing property, visitation schedule with children, etc. If one of the parties does not follow the orders, then the other party may motion, or ask the court, for them to be held in contempt. When a motion is filed, the judge will set a hearing and listen to the reason one party thinks the other should be held in contempt and listen to the accused parties' excuse as to why he or she should not be held in contempt. After listening to argument from both sides, the judge will make a ruling on whether or not one party is in contempt.

What is the result of a contempt hearing?

This will depend largely on the situation. It will depend on what order is alleged to have not been complied with and to what degree it was not complied with. The majority of contempt hearings have something to do with noncompliance of a parenting plan. In these cases, make up time with the child will often be awarded; if the violations continue to occur, then modification of the plan itself may be a result, though this is much rarer. Other sanctions such as a fine, the payment of the other parties' attorney's fees, or even incarceration can all be used by the judge as punishment for violating the order.

What can Soler & Slack, P.A. do to help?

Whether you want to file a motion for contempt or one has been filed against you, we can help you. Our attorneys are experienced in helping aggrieved parties enforce the court's orders when the other party feels that they do not have to abide by them. Likewise, we can defend a party who is accused of violating a court order and ensure that a judge hears their side of the situation.

If you are contemplating a motion for contempt or have been notified one has been filed against you, do not hesitate to call us for a free consultation at (941)444-5128.

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