Judgment Enforcement/Contempt

When you have a court order or divorce judgment, it is expected that everyone will follow the rules or orders set out in the court document.  The orders are legally enforceable and carry the force of the law for you and the other party.  If either party violates a court order or fails to comply with a court ordered obligation, the other party may return to court and request that the violating party be ordered to comply with the court order and/or be held in contempt.  

A party can be found in contempt if he/she has intentionally or willfully failed to comply with a valid and unambiguous order of the court without a valid defense.  A party found in contempt of a court order may be forced to comply with the order, required to pay the other party’s legal fees and expenses, have wages garnished and sometimes can be jailed if warranted.  

If you violated a court order but did not do so intentionally or willfully, you may be able to avoid a contempt finding.  It is important to retain an experienced family lawyer to help defend against a contempt motion by presenting a compelling argument on how you did not intend to violate the order.