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Rombro & Manley LLP

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Can you hold your former spouse in contempt?

On Behalf of | Oct 28, 2021 | Family Law

A lot of time and effort goes into securing an order dissolving your marriage. And that order or orders can touch on a lot of issues, including child custody and spousal support. Although you hope that your former spouse will adhere to those orders, time and again individuals simply refuse to do so. When this happens, you may find yourself wondering what you can do to try to rectify the situation.

Filing a motion for rule to show cause

If your former spouse is in violation of a court order, then you should consider filing a motion for rule to show cause. Here, you essentially ask the court to order your former spouse into court to explain why he or she should not be held in contempt of court. In your motion, you’ll need to specify the court order that has been violated, how and when it was violated, as well as any other specific details that you can provide.

What happens if your former spouse is held in contempt?

If the court finds your former spouse to be in contempt of court, then one of a number of penalties can be imposed. In most instances, individuals are either fined or jailed. However, it’s important to note that a finding of contempt can also be powerful ammunition for a modification of an existing order. For example, a contempt finding for failure to provide court ordered parenting time may justify you seeking additional parenting time or sole physical custody.

Stand up to ensure compliance with court orders

Far too many times, individuals simply let noncompliance with a court order slide. But doing so can have significant ramifications for you and even your relationship with your child. Therefore, if your former spouse is failing to abide by an existing court order, then you should carefully consider your next steps so that you can protect your interests as fully as possible.