So Your Ex Is Not Paying Child Support”¦

Getting a divorce can feel a little like running a marathon. Once you reach the end, you might collapse in a heap and tell yourself, “Never again.”

Unfortunately, in many situations, the real trouble has only just begun. Now, you need to spend one or two decades co-parenting with your ex, which often involves one parent paying child support to the other based on a monthly schedule.

But what happens when the other parent refuses to pay? You can ask them to pay, but they might avoid your phone calls. In this situation, you might need to seek enforcement from the judge, called contempt of court.

What is Contempt of Court?

When you received your divorce decree, the judge entered certain orders. These are not optional recommendations to each party but judicial commands to do something. If you or your ex decides not to follow the order, then a judge can find you in contempt.

Your ex might flout the judge’s ruling in all kinds of situation, such as paying child support or alimony or refusing to transfer title of an asset that is now yours thanks to the division of property.

What are the Punishments for Contempt of Court?

Judges have the discretion to bring the party in contempt back into compliance. Sometimes, a stern warning is enough. In other situations, a judge might order the person in contempt to pay money until they start following the orders or even send the person to jail. Usually, it never gets that far””but it could.

A judge might also revisit orders. For example, the judge could award more custody to a parent if his ex decides to disobey the judge’s orders. To determine what is the best remedy, you should consult with your Denver family law attorney.

How Do I Request a Contempt Citation?

You must complete forms and submit them to the court for consideration. It is probably best to have your attorney pursue contempt for you. Making a frivolous request could hurt you more than it would help, so let a lawyer analyze whether requesting a contempt citation is in your best interests.

Divorce Matters Can Help

Obtaining a divorce is only half the battle. If you are struggling to get your ex to follow the terms of your divorce, then you might need to file for a contempt citation. Contact Divorce Matters today. Our Denver contempt of court divorce lawyers have helped countless people over the past years.

Contact us today by calling 720-580-6745 or sending us a message.

How Do I Hold My Ex-Spouse In Contempt Of Court?

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:

  1. You had a court order in place
  2. The other party is aware of the court order
  3. The other party has violated the court order intentionally
  4. 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.