So, how does the contempt of court process work? It can take some time for the process to complete, typically between two to four months, and sometimes more. First, your attorney files the motion explaining the type and circumstances of contempt. This must be done in the same court and county where your divorce was filed. The motion must be signed and notarized. The courts will look it over, sign it and return it to you and your attorney.
After that, the court will set a hearing date, and the contempt order must be served to the opposing party. The opposing party must receive the papers at least 20 days before the scheduled contempt hearing.
At the hearing, the opposing party will be required to enter a plea, guilty or not guilty.
You will then have your opportunity to provide evidence to the court in support of your claim. You must prove:
- You had a court order in place
- The other party is aware of the court order
- The other party has violated the court order intentionally
- The other party has been given notice of the violation as well as the court hearing
Once you have made your case, the other party has the opportunity to present a defense. Some common defenses include that the party did not intend to violate the court order, or that the party was simply unable to comply with the court order. The defense will have to present evidence that this is true.
Once the hearing is over, the judge will issue an order intended to make the offending party comply with the original order. The offending party may also be required to pay you forfeiture fees for every day that they are in contempt (up to $2,000 per day).
If your ex-spouse has violated the terms of your divorce settlement, our Denver divorce attorneys can help you decide if a contempt of court motion is the right thing for you.