Understanding Contempt of Court During a Divorce

a couple signing divorce papers

Divorce is challenging even for couples that decide to end their marriage mutually. The court would order you on what you need to do and never do, in the most detailed manner possible. While this might be demanding, you need to do everything you can to obey the court’s orders lest you risk being in contempt of court.

This could be extremely damaging for various reasons and would make your already complicated situation even worse.

What is Contempt of Court in Divorce?

Contempt of court, as it relates to a divorce, occurs when you or your soon-to-be-ex-spouse violated a court order, whether it’s failing to do something or doing something that shouldn’t be done, explains a prominent divorce attorney in Kent. In most cases, the court would tell you if you fail to obey an order and give you a chance to redeem yourself.

Otherwise, the court would order you to do what you need to do and penalize you. You should also know that most states impose more severe penalties for repeat contempt offenders. So, how do you ensure that you avoid being charged with contempt of court? Below are some guidelines to keep in mind:

Child Custody Arrangements

You and your ex should follow your child custody order to a tee. Otherwise, interfering with an order might result in contempt of court, which is considered a crime in many states. This could affect your custodial or visitation rights.

Protective or Restraining Orders

While it is unfortunate that some divorce cases involve protective or restraining orders, this is fairly common in divorce cases that are especially contentious. If you violate a protective or restraining order, the court would hold you in contempt. If the protective order involves a custody violation, the court might even charge you with something more serious, parental kidnapping, for example, depending on the circumstances of the violation, along with contempt of court.

Child Support and Alimony

If the court orders you to pay child support, alimony, and/or turn over specific assets to your spouse, you must do it; otherwise, you risk being in contempt of court.

If the court orders you to do something or refrain from doing something, just follow its orders. In case you can’t meet a certain order for some reason or are having issues with your finances, inform your divorce attorney and the court to determine the legal remedies that might be available to you. Never take the law into your own hands.

About Eleanor Sharp
Eleanor Sharp is the author of AGSE Law. As a paralegal, she has worked with attorneys in many fields to ensure their clients get the best advice and representation. She is passionate about helping people understand the complexities of the legal system so they can make better decisions for themselves. Eleanor loves reading, travel, and spending time with her family. She hopes her articles will help others navigate life’s legal intricacies with confidence.