Contempt and Show Cause Motions - Legal Contempt

How to File a Motion for Contempt Legal Contempt Court

There is a legal solution in divorce law if a former spouse fails to obey a divorce order, such as not paying overdue child support or alimony, or not complying with an order for child visitation, custody of a child, or property division. You must first file a motion for contempt, also called a motion to show cause, in the court that issued the original divorce order and request that the court issue an order holding the other party in contempt of the order. Self-help measures, such as denying a parent visitation for failure to pay child support, are not only disallowed under divorce law (and unfair to the child in such an example), but may wind up with you being the one held in contempt of court.

In order to win your motion for a contempt of court order, you will need to prove the following:

  • The defendant was aware of the order
  • The order was violated
  • The defendant had the ability to comply with the order
  • The defendant voluntarily chose to violate the order and is therefore in contempt of court divorce decree terms

A hearing will be held in the divorce court for the judge to decide if a contempt of court order should be issued. If back child support is owed and the court finds that under the terms of the divorce contempt of court has occurred, the contempt order may be used to pursue collection of child support through child support enforcement services. The defendant may also be penalized through denial of a drivers license, withholding a tax refunds, and more. If there is a finding of contempt of court divorce settlement terms, such as deeding over property or selling an asset to divide proceeds, the judge may order the defendant to sign necessary paperwork, etc. Usually, the defendant will be given an opportunity to immediately cure the contempt by making full payment or taking other necessary actions before the judge issues the contempt of court order.

One of the most common motions for contempt of court divorce courts hear are those claiming a deadbeat dad owes back child support. However, either party may be guilty of contempt of divorce decree matters under divorce law. Other issues commonly raised when seeking a determination of contempt of court divorce settlement terms include overdue alimony payments, violation of a restraining order, and failure to comply with terms of property division in the divorce settlement. US Legal Forms offers affordable, top quality contempt and show cause motions for any type of contempt of divorce decree.

Tips for Preparing Contempt and Show Cause Motions

  1. Make sure that you’re entirely prepared to file for divorce. Breakup is a very complex process from an emotional, legal, and financial standpoint for everyone involved. Parting ways with your partner might be a short-sight option to start new chapter in your life. Before preparing Contempt and Show Cause Motions and initiating the divorce process, take into consideration all the alternative choices. Talk to a marriage counselor or consider therapy. Take as much time as you need to make the most rational decisions.
  2. Put together Contempt and Show Cause Motions and other important paperwork to end your marital life. Whether you file for divorce yourself or with an attorney’s help, getting all your paper collected and arranged will set you up for success. Make sure that you don’t overlook important files. If you decide to a do it yourself divorce, you can use US Legal Forms as expert virtual documents provider and locate all the necessary documents to set off the procedure.
  3. Try and reach a preliminary agreement with your partner. It gets even more crucial if children are involved. Try and find common ground on child custody and visitation. Plan ahead how you will break the news about split-up to your kids in a much less harmful way as possible. Discuss with your spouse the items you’re willing to divide, give up, and claim. By doing this, you get an opportunity to file for an uncontested marriage dissolution and make the whole process less painful for all parties involved.
  4. Inform yourself about the subtleties of moving forward with dissolution of marriage in the state of your choice. Each state has its own authority regarding who, when, and how|and just how someone can go about getting dissolution of marriage. You can choose a state to file for divorce, but you need to think about a list of things concerning the dissolution of marriage legislation in the selected state before you move forward with drafting the Contempt and Show Cause Motions. These include but are not limited to statutory and residency requirements, community property regulations, and so forth.