When the court has issued any order, the legal method of enforcement of that order is called contempt. A motion for contempt carries with it penalties as well as potential sanction from the court for failure to obey the order, including the possibility of attorney fees, fines, or in rare and extreme cases jail time. When circumstances do not legally warrant contempt but enforcement is needed, motions for relief are authorized by the court.
In cases of contempt/enforcement of the order, the party seeking relief carries a higher burden of proof. They must show not only that the order was violated, but that it was done so knowingly and with bad faith. This can sometimes be very complex under the circumstances. Areas in which contempt is common include child support obligations or one parent taking more parenting time than allowed under the parenting plan. Areas in which enforcement of the order is the proper remedy mainly deal with property issues after a final divorce decree.
Douglas R. Hughes has handled many contempt and enforcement matters over the years. His years in both family law and as a prosecutor provide him with a unique set of skills for this type of litigation. Bringing an action for contempt or enforcement of an order will also have potential consequences on other areas of the case, so great care should be taken to formulate a specific strategy which will achieve positive results in your case. Call 252-3013 today for a free consultation to determine the best way to move your case forward, or click here.