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Contempt / Enforcement

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Contempt and Enforcement in Divorce


What You Need to Know

Contempt and enforcement are legal terms that are connected to the implementation of all items in a court order. It also keeps the former spouses from completely moving on from the divorce. These are problematic areas that require a lot of effort to prove and defend in court. However, for many people, these legal proceedings may be necessary because it will provide economic means for a spouse to provide for herself and/or for her children.

Filing for Contempt

For divorce cases, contempt means “a willful violation of a court order” in that a former spouse has not been keeping one or some or all parts of the final agreement, specifically for alimony and child support payments. A contempt case can be defended by saying that the former spouse did not commit a violation or that the violation is not willful.

Court Enforcement

If the judge finds that a spouse has indeed committed contempt, then he or she can order a contempt enforcement. The purpose of this is to make sure that the alimony and/or child support is paid, because these are usually set according to what the former spouse and/or child needs to maintain the same quality of life that they are accustomed to. The court and the former spouse who has committed contempt can negotiate on how these payments can be made, such as by installment or in one lump sum on top of additional regular payments. The court can also choose to get control of the erring former spouse’s bank accounts.

Risks of Contempt and Enforcement

An individual who has found to have committed contempt and has failed to make any restitutions may go to jail. In order to defend oneself effectively in a contempt lawsuit, it is best to enlist the services of legal experts who can help you in court.


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