Can my ex be held in contempt of court for failing to abide by our divorce decree?

| May 7, 2021 | Uncategorized |

Many spouses delay filing for divorce because they fear having to compromise with their ex about spousal and child support, custody and property division. By the time you build up the courage to proceed with your divorce filing and reach a settlement with your ex regarding the above-referenced matters, you may feel as if things can only look up from there. That’s not always the case, though. 

There are instances in which one of the parties in a divorce just doesn’t follow through with what they promise — and what the court ordered. This can happen over child custody, support and property issues.

If this happens to you, you might be able to petition the court for a post-contempt hearing in such instances. 

What constitutes post-divorce contempt?

A divorce decree or parenting plan is a court order. It’s legally binding. Any violations of either one of these could result in the violator facing contempt of court charges, which is a criminal offense. A judge may also enter a modification in a family law case if a spouse or parent violates their orders. 

How are contempt of court matters adjudicated?

You’ll need to prove that your former spouse or co-parent violated your divorce decree or parenting plan when submitting a contempt of court motion with the court. They may not schedule a hearing in your case if you don’t. 

The judge presiding over your case is likely to allow the accused to rectify their violation by re-enforcing their original order before considering throwing them in jail. 

How can you proceed if your ex isn’t living up to their court-ordered obligations?

Your ex must abide by a judge’s court orders to turn over property and pay support, and exchange custody of your kids. You may be able to seek a modification of a court order or have the judge hold your ex in contempt of court. Talk to an attorney about the specifics of your situation and learn more.