Your Options For Contempt Actions
One of the most frustrating parts of co-parenting is when the other parent actively refuses to abide by a court order.
Perhaps your ex was ordered to pay child support, but these payments stopped coming in. Studies have found that only 68.5 percent of child support actually gets paid every year.
Or, perhaps your ex keeps interfering with your custody rights, refusing to allow you to see the children as often as you should. This parenting time interference could be direct or indirect, and it disrupts your relationship with your child either way. As a parent, this is heartbreaking, stressful and unfair. For your child, this can have a severely negative impact on their development and well-being.
The key is to make sure you understand your options for contempt actions. When your ex violates a direct court order, the law is on your side. It may take time, but your legal rights can be protected.
Here at CC LawGroup, A Professional Corporation, we help you explore your options. We are compassionate, and we value relationships. We sit down with you and find out exactly what you need. We take your case as seriously as you do. With more than 25 years of experience, our divorce attorneys know what it takes to ensure that your rights are recognized. We pride ourselves on aggressively fighting for those rights.
Steps To Enforcing Divorce Orders
California law allows people in your situation to seek restitution and get your former spouse to live up to his or her obligations. The process for doing so often includes:
- Filing a civil contempt of court motion: Your divorce agreement is a court order, and failing to abide by its terms is considered contempt of court. This step requires filing and submitting accurate paperwork with the appropriate court, agencies and individuals.
- Negotiations: When possible, we seek to remedy these situations without involving the court. By notifying your former spouse of a contempt action, it may be possible to negotiate a resolution outside of court.
- Criminal charges: Criminal charges might be filed against your former spouse for failing to pay child support. California courts recently upheld criminal penalties for certain individuals who knowingly withheld child support payments.
- Enforcement methods: Once you have a court judgment against your former spouse, then you can begin the process of collection. This could include paycheck garnishments and other avenues best suited for your particular situation.
These steps can help you obtain past-due child support, past-due alimony, property that was never received during division of the marital assets or in obtaining the visitation you deserve with your child.