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Everything You Need to Know About Contempt of Court Divorce Settlement

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2019 | Divorce

When your spouse violates a divorce agreement, you might attempt to force him or her to obey the divorce terms. But, the best route to take is to go to the court immediately with a competent Tacoma Divorce Attorney.

Once a party fails to obey the terms, they can be held in contempt of court divorce settlement orders. After that, the court can enforce certain legal actions against the non-compliant individual.

Reporting a Divorce Decree Violation

The first step is to get the contempt of court forms online or source them from a court clerk. As you file a contempt motion, don’t forget that you’ll need to provide enough evidence before the court. You must prove:

  • The violator knew about the settlement orders
  • The accused person had the ability to comply with the terms but willfully violated them
  • The person being accused doesn’t have a just reason for disobeying the order

Contempt of Child Support Court Orders

Contempt of court proceedings helps with enforcing over-due child support payments. When filing for contempt of child support order, it’s essential for you to give the court specific details.

If the court discovers that a person isn’t paying child support as mandated, it can order him or her to:

  • Make payments for the support
  • Pay the other side’s lawyer fees
  • Pay court fines
  • Serve some time in jail

Contempt of Parenting Arrangement Orders

If the court has individual purview over a party, it can hold him or her in contempt for violating a parenting arrangement. Any provision under the parenting arrangement is enforceable via a contempt motion.

To declare contempt, the court needs to find that the parent failed to comply with the parenting plan orders in bad faith. If that’s the case, the court can grant make-up time to a parent without residential time. The extra time will be equivalent to the time missed as a result of the actions of the non-compliant party.

Additionally, the non-compliant parent may have to pay lawyer’s fees, legal fines, and sensible costs incurred in finding or returning a kid. A civil penalty of at least $100 may be imposed too.  It’s also essential to note that the court may also order prison time.

Does the Court Usually Order Jail Time in Contempt of Court Divorce Settlement Matters?

It is uncommon for the court to mandate actual prison time during contempt issues. If the moving party has requested imprisonment in their motion, the supposed violator reserves the right to a lawyer. Sometimes, the contempt action is related to debt. Here, the court can’t mandate prison time if the debtor can prove they don’t have the means to adhere to the order.

For the most part, prison time is enforced in situations where:

  • The violation is especially unfortunate
  • The non-compliant parent has shown repeated contempt behavior
  • The violator is ordered to cooperate by the court but refuses to do so

Don’t Hesitate to Seek the Help of a Qualified Divorce Attorney

Divorce is already difficult without the addition of an ex-spouse who doesn’t comply with the divorce settlement terms. However, with the assistance of a knowledgeable Tacoma divorce attorney you can defend your rights and that of your children. At Alliance Law Group, our divorce attorneys are prepared to guide you on your contempt of court divorce settlement matter. Call us today at 253-300-2055 for expert advice.