Givens Givens Sparks, PLLC Articles Contempt of Court and Enforcement

Contempt of Court and Enforcement

By Givens Givens Sparks, PLLC  Apr. 19, 2011 4:55p

Contempt of court is an act of deliberate disobedience or disregard of the laws or regulations of a public authority such as a court legislative body. In family law, contempt of court typically refers to a refusal to pay court ordered child support or, to provide court ordered visitation to the other parent in a divorce.

There are two types of contempt; they are civil contempt and criminal contempt. Family law deals directly with civil contempt. A person is guilty of civil contempt whenever they willfully disobey, or disregard a court order or any misconduct or action, which interferes with the court order. Contempt of court can have serious criminal consequences, including fines, or imprisonment, or both. In a family law matter, jail and/or imprisonment is not intended to punish the contemnor, it is intended coerce him into obeying the court, and in family law, that means paying alimony, child support or, complying with visitation orders set forth by a family court judge, which were in violation. If you need legal assistance with enforcing a court order, you should contact a Tampa family law attorney right away.

Contempt Can Have Serious Consequences

In family law, the most common case that a hearing officer will encounter is when a person failed to pay court ordered child support. The Department of Revenue would initiate such case by filing a paper called a “Motion for Contempt.” When the case lands on the hearing officer’s desk, he or she will determine if the person “willfully” and “deliberately” avoided paying child support. If so, the person who willfully failed to pay child support is subject to a number of actions, including driver’s license suspension, he or she may be ordered to pay a fine, his or her bank accounts can be seized, and their income tax refund can be intercepted, as well as jail or prison sentencing.

Parents have a moral and a legal obligation to take financial responsibility for their children, as well as encourage the other parent to play an active role in their child’s life. If your spouse has violated a court order in any way, and you need help with the matter, or any other aspect of your divorce, contact a Tampa contempt of court lawyer from Givens Givens Sparks, PLLC today.

Contact a Tampa contempt of court attorney from our firm for a free initial consultation today.

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