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Can I hold my former spouse in contempt?

by | Apr 11, 2022 | Divorce

You worked hard for the outcome that you got in your divorce. And when all was said and done, you might have breathed a sigh of relief thinking that you had put that chapter of your life behind you. While it’s true to a certain extent that you’ve moved on to a new phase of your life, the fact remains that you and your former spouse are probably subjected to active court orders. This can cause headaches when your spouse fails to abide by an existing child custody or support order.

Can you hold your former spouse in contempt?

Depending on the circumstances at hand, you may be able to have your former spouse found in civil contempt of court. In order to successfully do so, you’ll have to prove that your former spouse willfully violated the order when he or she was capable of complying with it. When you ask a court to hold someone in contempt, you’re going to have to specify the order that was violated, when it was violated, and specifically how the order was violated. So, you need to have a firm grasp of the facts before you move forward with your request.

What are the penalties for contempt?

If your former spouse is unable to justify the contempt or prove that he or she shouldn’t be held in contempt, then the court may issue a number of penalties. In most instances, an individual is either fined or jailed. The focus is to bring the wrongdoer in compliance with the court’s order rather than punish him or her. But you may be able to use a contempt finding to help you seek a modification of the existing order.

Let an attorney help you with your case

If you’re reading this blog, then the challenges that you’re facing are probably significant and stressful. But don’t make things harder on yourself than they need to be. Instead, think about whether having an attorney on your side could be beneficial.