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What is Contempt and How Does It Apply in My Family Law Case?

Once court orders are in place, whether they stem from a divorce or a paternity case, both parties are required to follow all aspects of the court orders, whether they like it or not. However, it is not uncommon for one party to violate a court order – sometimes for a good reason, but often to simply make the other party unhappy or “punish” him or her. Fortunately, the legal mechanism of contempt of court may be available in your Georgia family law case if your ex willfully violates the court’s orders in some respect.

For example, suppose that your ex is ordered to pay you child support and fails to do so. If your ex is working and making a steady income, you may be able to prove that he or she willfully violated the court’s child support order. On the other hand, if your ex suddenly was laid off from his or her job and has a severely reduced income, or no income at all, then the violation of the court order may not be willful, and contempt of court may not be an available option.

If contempt of court is potentially an available remedy in your case, a court can put into place certain repercussions for the party who failed to follow the court order. Depending on the circumstances, the party who violated the order may have to pay the other party’s attorneys’ fees, repay all of the back child support that is owed by a certain date, or enter into a repayment plan of the back child support amount over time.  Having the party who is in contempt of an order incarcerated, until such time as the party complies is also a common remedy in many courts.  Contempt issues can be serious business, but they must be handled properly, and specific evidence related to specific court orders proven to prevail.

If you have questions about how best to handle your ex’s violations of your court order, or any aspect of your family law case, the Shaw Law Firm, LLC, can assist you.

Contact us or call today to learn how Shaw Law can work with you to achieve the best outcome possible for you and your children.

Scott Shaw is founder and principle of Shaw Law Firm LLC, founded in 1995 and dedicated solely to divorce, family law and child custody matters that must be addressed and decided in the state of Georgia. Shaw Law Firm serves the greater Metro Atlanta area, particularly the counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding, Henry, Fayette, Coweta, Newton, Walton, Bartow and Douglas. Schedule a consultation today at 770-594-8309.