Bringing Contempt Actions In Family Law Cases
A contempt of court order regarding divorce or family law cases can be filed in California courts. Both husbands and wives can file for contempt of court against their spouse when they refuse to follow the court order. A contempt of court order is very useful but it is hardly used in divorce cases. Contempt of court can lead to criminal proceedings.
Violations of court’s decisions about child custody, spousal support, child support, property division, and any other payment can be contested and remedied by using the contempt of court order. In California, contempt of court can be filed against a number of violations.
Child support – Not paying child support is an absolute instance of contempt of court. Temporary as well as final child support payment orders are made by the court. If not adhered to, it is treated as contempt of court. It is contempt if the child support is paid late or if only a part of the amount is paid.
Spousal support – Similar to child support, partial payment or late payment or no payment at all of spousal support is considered contempt of court. Violations of orders of paying combined child and spousal support can also be brought to the notice of the court.
Attorney fees – Attorney fees of the other spouse are a part of support so it is that spouse’s need. Failure to pay this need-based fee is considered contempt. Codes 2030 and 2032 of the California Family Code categorize the different kinds of attorney fees in family law and divorce cases.
Restraining orders – An intentional violation of any kind of a restraining order, such as the one against domestic violence, is an obvious case of contempt of court. A ‘no contact order’ should be followed.
Visitation orders – One parent violates the other parent’s visitation rights of their children. Visitation schedules are not followed and the parent is not allowed to visit the child. Failure to follow the parenting plan approved by the court can be appealed at the court as contempt.
Splitting of property – One spouse can refuse to part with a personal property or transfer a piece of property to the other spouse even after being ordered to do so by the court.
If you feel your rights are being willfully violated, you should approach the court and remedy it by invoking the contempt of court order. Seek the help of a lawyer. Getting divorced in California can be complicated. Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.
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