An action for contempt of Court can be brought against a party when they do not comply with a Court Order. In family law, this could include non-compliance with one or more of the following Court orders: Child Support, Visitation, Child Custody, Alimony, and/or Property Division.
If the other party in your case is not following the Court Order, it may be time to file a Petition for Citation of Contempt. For example, when a parent willfully refuses to pay child support, that party may be found in Contempt.
In order to prevail in a contempt action, it is important to have proof of the violations of the Order. For example, if the other parent is not allowing visitation as Ordered, it would be helpful to have written evidence such as an email exchange documenting the refusal of visitation. If you believe the other party in your case is in contempt of Court, please contact The Wise Law Firm for a phone consultation to discuss your options.
Examples of Common Contempt Actions in Georgia:
Interfering with Parenting time
Interfering with parenting time can mean when one parent refuses to bring a child to the agreed upon drop off location as he or she is required to do. Another example of interference with parenting time is when one parent purposefully schedules the child’s activities during the other parent’s parenting time. Either of these examples could result in the Court issuing a contempt Order against the offending party.
Depending on the Court Order, blocking communication between the child and parent may be considered contempt if communication is addressed in the underlying Court Order. Most Parenting Plans allow for both parents to have communication with the child when he or she is with the other parent. Refusing to facilitate calls or communication can be in violation of a Court Order depending on what the original Order states.
Denying Parenting time for Non-Payment of Child Support
It is important for parents to remember that visitation and child support are two separate matters. If a parent is not receiving the Court Ordered child support this does not mean that this parent can withhold the child from the other parent. The reverse also applies. Generally, if one parent is not complying with Court Ordered visitation it is not advisable to withhold child support.
Non-payment of Alimony
Court Ordered alimony is required to be paid until a modification Order is entered by the Court. Parties cannot modify a Court Order by agreement. If a paying party has a change in job status or an involuntary loss of income, the paying party can attempt to argue that he or she is not in willful Contempt.