Smith, Illner & Gemelas Co. LPA
Free Initial Consultation
Call 440-328-4574
contact Menu

What does it mean to be held in contempt of court?

Too often, when divorced parents aren't able to deal with one another amicably, one parent's misunderstanding of the terms of the custody and visitation agreement or other court order can result in a contempt of court allegation by the other parent. Sometimes, a misunderstanding of a vague provision can also lead to a contempt accusation.

Criminal contempt of court generally involves deliberately disobeying a court order. Civil contempt is more common. Coercive civil contempt is the most common type of contempt of court where child custody issues are involved. In these cases, the parent who is found to be in contempt can be ordered by the court to begin obeying the order.

Not every instance of disobeying a court order is considered contempt. It must be willful. That means a person must have the ability to comply but is not doing so. If there are mitigating circumstances (like a parent wasn't able to get off work in time to pick up a child as scheduled), it's considered nonwillful disobedience and not an instance of contempt.

The penalties for contempt of court can include fines, wage garnishment, the requirement of supervised visitation, and in some cases, even imprisonment. It all depends on the situation.

Taking a co-parent to court for contempt isn't always the best option. It can be stressful, time-consuming and expensive. It can damage the co-parents' relationship even further. Sometimes, an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) option like mediation is best for everyone -- especially the child.

If your co-parent has been knowingly and repeatedly violating your custody and visitation agreement or if you're being accused of contempt of court, it's essential to talk with your attorney. The most important thing is not to lose sight of what's in the best interests of your child.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Speak To An
Attorney
Today. Call
440-328-4574.

Email Us For a Response

Get A Free
Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

office location

424 Middle Ave
Elyria, OH 44035

Toll Free: 888-506-0340
Phone: 440-328-4574
Phone: 440-328-4574
Fax: 440-323-3310
Elyria Law Office Map