Posted on: 6 June 2019
You are in contempt of the court if you refuse to comply with an order of the court. The order may be for you to do something or stop doing something. Contempt of court can be a civil charge, criminal charge, or both. Here are some of the things that are likely to trigger contempt of court accusations during a divorce.
Child and spousal support orders are common during a divorce. For example, the court may order you to pay temporary alimony while the divorce is pending and order another type of alimony after the divorce is finalized. If your ex reports back to the court that you haven't complied with the orders, the court may charge you with contempt of court.
Therefore, you need to pay child and spousal support exactly as ordered by the court. Petition the court for a modification if you can't comply, but don't stop the payments arbitrarily.
Like support, custody orders can also be temporary or permanent, but you need to comply with both of them. For example, if you took the kids out of the marital home just before filing for divorce, your spouse might petition the court for temporary custody while the divorce is pending. The court might charge you with contempt of court if you fail to take the children back to your marital home if it had ordered you to do so.
During your divorce, both of you will require certain information from each other. For example, you need to know how much your spouse earns and the amount of money in their individual accounts. The process of getting this information is called the discovery process. Failure to produce the necessary information during the discovery process may lead to contempt of court charges. For example, you might face contempt of court charges if the court orders you to produce your bank statements and you fail to comply.
You might also be charged with contempt of court for your behavior or words during your court appearance. If you are in court, you must comply with the judge's orders on when to speak, where to stand or sit, and even which questions you must answer. For example, you might face contempt of court charges if your spouse asks you about your extramarital expenses and you refuse to answer the question even after the judge has ordered you to answer the question.
Divorce is complicated; don't complicate your divorce further by attracting contempt of court charges. Consult a divorce lawyer and follow their advice to the letter to avoid contempt of court charges.Share