Your divorce or custody hearing is complete and guidelines have been set for a Parenting Plan or Marriage Settlement Agreement, but what happens if your ex doesn’t follow the guidelines that have been set? Contempt of court is the legal term used when someone intentionally refuses or disregards a judge’s orders. At LaFrance Law we can help you decide if you may need future assistance from the Florida courts to assure that any settlements or agreements are adhered to.
To minimize the effect failure to pay has on children, the “Child Support Enforcement Program” has additional resources like income deduction, license suspension, asset forfeiture and arrest warrants to recoup lost payment and prevent non-payment in the future. It’s in your best interest to hire a Tampa attorney when facing contempt of court issues.
Contempt of Court
Not paying alimony, child support, or defying the rules and guidelines of a Marriage Settlement Agreement, time-sharing schedule or parenting plan can be grounds to begin contempt of court proceedings.
To file a motion for a Contempt and Enforcement of Court, first you must describe the reasons behind your request, such as failure to pay or circumstances where the party has denied access to children during scheduled time-sharing. After the motion has been filed, a court hearing will be set where proof of the alleged contempt will be presented and a judgement can be determined.
The State of Florida does not take contempt of court lightly. If found to be willingly in contempt of court orders, a judge may order a variety of sanctions to encourage future compliance. These rulings can include jail time, additional fines, payment of attorneys’ fees or alternative options as a judge sees fit.
Enforcement rulings can escalate especially when child support is a factor. Florida law dictates that every child has the right to financial support from both parents until he or she reaches the age of 18.
The following may result in an enforcement / contempt proceeding:
- Willful noncompliance with Marital Settlement Agreement
- Willful noncompliance with Parenting Plan
- Willful noncompliance with time-sharing schedule
- Nonpayment of alimony
- Nonpayment of child support
- Interference with time sharing
LaFrance Law Services
The best thing you can do to protect yourself when filing for a Contempt and Enforcement of Court order is to work with experienced Tampa family law attorneys. Contact the lawyers at LaFrance Law to schedule an appointment.