What is Contempt

What is contempt?

Contempt is a remedy that is often used to compel the parent who has been ordered to pay child support and who has failed to do so, to appear in court to offer a legal excuse for failing to pay the support as previously ordered.

Contempt is also the remedy that is used when one of the parties violates an existing order by denying access to children, violating the other party's rights in certain items of property or, on some occasions, by physical or verbal attacks that have been prohibited by the court.

The Court has the power to punish the party violating the court's order by placing them in jail, fining them, or both. The Court can also enforce payment of support arrearage by placing the violator in jail until the monies are paid.

These are, of course, extreme remedies and before a court will use these remedies, the attorney bringing the motion must have met a great number of technical requirements. These are the most detailed motions that a family law attorney can bring, since the accused party can lose his or her freedom. It is essential, therefore, that any lawyer bringing a contempt motion be well trained and experienced in these matters since even a small technical defect can cause the motion to fail.