There are times when one party to a domestic action does not follow the judgment decree of the court. If this happens, that party is in contempt of court. Many people fall into contempt due to special situations or a change in status (such as the loss of a job). When a situation changes and the party fails to move for a modification, the court has the authority to put the violating party in jail. Special situations may explain failure, but a change in circumstances should be taken up in an action to modify the divorce.
An action for contempt is most often brought to collect past due alimony or child support or to enforce child visitation rights, but any failure to comply with the final decree provides grounds for a contempt action. A party must be at least one month late on child support or alimony before a contempt action may be brought. Other causes of action can be brought for failure to refinance or sell a house, divide retirements or other assets, or any failure to do as ordered by the Court.
To discuss a matter of non-compliance/ contempt with one of our family law attorneys, call 770-461-2025.