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.
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. 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.
If you feel you may have to file a Contempt and Enforcement of Court order, contact the lawyers at LaFrance Law at (813) 930-5542 or fill out the sidebar form to schedule an appointment.