Contempt Of Court In Family Law

Posted On March 3rd, 2021 by Michael Dunham

Learn more about contempt of court in family law.

Nobody ever thinks of themselves as the kind of person who disobeys the court or ridicules orders. But whether we like to believe it or not, there are those who continue to treat our society like trash but continuously and deliberately disobey the law and the court that holds it. You would think these people would learn after making their first mistake, maybe even their second, but in the end, they never learn and just continue to make these same mistakes. And most of the time, these mistakes end with these people finding themselves before a judge, or sometimes even worse, behind bars. 

The law regards these deliberate acts of rebellion as contempt of court. While it may seem intimidating from the outlook, the word “contempt” simply describes a situation where an individual has willingly and deliberately disobeyed any court orders. This contempt of court can happen in any number of cases, such as parole requirements and sometimes even cases of family law. There are many ways that an individual could be held in contempt within family law. Here are a few prominent examples. 

Dodging Child Support Or Spousal Support 

This is one of the more common reasons an individual could find themselves held in contempt with the court. Usually, whenever a married couple files for divorce, there is a settlement over spousal support and child support if there are any children involved in the divorce. Just as their names suggest, spousal support and child support are both the act of providing financial support for your children and your ex-partner. While anyone can be obligated to pay these, the job is usually placed on the husband or father of the divorce. These payments are generally court-ordered and are mandatory without any room for leniency. Whenever a payment is missed or completely forgotten, the individual obligated to make these payments will find themselves in contempt of the court. While this can be fixed with a simple payment, most cases are drawn out and end up being ironed out in court. 

Refusing Parental Visitation 

Whenever a married couple divorces, one individual receives full custody over their children while the other is given visitation rights. Like child support and spousal support, it is usually the divorced man who is given just visitation rights, and the divorced women receive full custody of their children. While this is not the reality of every case, it’s an important statistic to notice when it comes to studying divorce cases and visitation rights. It also can come into play as a reason for an individual to be held in contempt in family law. Refusing parental visitation even when the court has made it mandatory can result in an individual having to explain themselves and their choices in the court of law. If there is no good reason found for the refusal of parental visitation, then that parent will be granted their visitation rights. At the same time, the other may be penalized for their refusal to let their ex-spouse see the children they share.