Contempt and Enforcement Lawyers in Atlanta Protecting You from Contempt Action of a Family Court Order
You may feel as though you’ve gone through the divorce process successfully. The long and complex road is behind you, and you can move on with your life. After all, the judge in your case signed off on the divorce decree, and all matters concerning child custody, child support, alimony, and property division are in place, right?
Unfortunately, some problems can still exist long after the divorce is over when one person decides he or she wants to ignore the terms put forth in the final order. If your ex-spouse fails to abide by the court’s final order, you may have the right to take action and force them to abide as they should.
If your ex is denying you your parenting time, failing to make child support or alimony payments (or making only partial payments), or disregarding anything else in your order, you need to take action quickly. The courts do not look kindly at those who do not follow their orders, but they can only help if they are aware of the issues.
Enforcement actions are serious and should not be taken lightly, but they may be necessary to get what you’re entitled to under the law. If you are considering enforcement action or if you have already been served with contempt papers, you must speak with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.
At Atlanta Family Law Group LLC, we understand how difficult it is to deal with a former spouse who isn’t following the rules. Our Atlanta, Georgia, contempt and enforcement attorneys can help you understand your rights and options under the law and guide you through the process of taking action, if necessary. Call us today at 404-738-5805 to have all your questions answered.
What are Contempt and Enforcement?
After a divorce or custody case is decided, the court will issue an order that becomes the “law” of your case. Orders oftentimes are specific as to what each parent’s rights and responsibilities are. When one party violates or doesn’t follow the terms of the order, they can be held in contempt of court. Contempt proceedings are serious, and you need an experienced attorney to protect your rights.
Oftentimes, one parent falls behind in making their required child support payments. The state of Georgia has various enforcement tools available to help the custodial parent receive the payments that are due.
There are two types of contempt:
- Criminal contempt is when someone intentionally violates a court order. The penalties for criminal contempt can include fines and jail time.
- Civil contempt is when someone violates court order, but they didn’t do it intentionally. The penalties for civil contempt can include things like make-up parenting time and ordering the person to pay the other parent’s attorney fees.
If you are facing a contempt action or need help enforcing a family court order, Atlanta Family Law Group LLC can help. We understand how important it is for you to receive the support you are entitled to and will work diligently to protect your rights. Call us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys. We can help you understand your rights and options under the law.
When are Contempt and Enforcement Orders Necessary?
Enforcement orders are most often needed when a divorce order involves matters of child support, alimony, and child custody. In some instances, there is also a failure to abide by the court’s order on property and asset division. Contempt issues may include, but are not limited to, the following:
When your ex is required to pay child support but is either not paying or only paying a portion of the ordered amount.
- When your ex is required to pay alimony, but they’re avoiding the monthly or lump-sum payment.
- When your ex is withholding visitation or otherwise violating the terms of your parenting plan.
- When your ex has failed to abide by the property division terms of your final order, this can include failing to make mortgage or loan payments on the family home, not transferring title to you as ordered, or hiding assets.
If any of these issues exist in your post-divorce life, you may need to take action to get the relief you need and deserve. Contempt and enforcement lawyers help people like you make sure that the terms of their divorce decree are carried out. If your ex is not following the order, your lawyer can file a contempt action with the court. This will put pressure on your ex to comply with the order or face possible penalties.
Unfortunately, when you get a divorce, you can’t just walk away from your ex and never deal with them again. If you have children together or if there are financial ties, you will likely need to deal with each other on some level for years to come. Therefore it’s so important to make sure that the terms of your divorce decree are fair and that they are followed.
When one person doesn’t follow the court’s order, it can create a lot of stress and anxiety for the other person. It can be very frustrating to deal with someone who is not following the court’s order, especially when you have already gone through a long and difficult divorce process. You may feel like you are constantly dealing with these issues and that there is no end in sight. This can be very emotionally draining and frustrating.
How is Contempt of Court Proven?
For enforcement action to be taken, there must first be a finding of contempt of court. This is a legal determination that one party has willfully disobeyed a court order. For contempt to be found, the following factors must be met:
- The court order must be clear and specific
- The person accused of contempt must know the order
- There must be willful disobedience of the order
- The contempt must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt
If these factors are met, the court may find the person in contempt and issue an order for enforcement. This is also sometimes referred to as a “writ of bodily attachment” or “bench warrant.”
The consequences of being found in contempt can be serious. The court may order the person to pay a fine, reimburse the other party for attorney’s fees and costs incurred, or even spend time in jail. In some cases, the court may also modify the original divorce order to give one party more favorable terms.
If you have been accused of contempt of court, it is important to speak with an experienced Atlanta family law attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you understand the charges against you and defend your rights in court.
What Can a Lawyer Do for Me?
If you find yourself in a contempt action, it is important to have an attorney who understands both the criminal and civil aspects of these cases. A skilled lawyer can help you present your case in the best possible light and negotiate with the other side to try to reach a resolution that is in your best interests. In some cases, it may be possible to avoid a finding of contempt altogether by reaching an agreement with the other party that satisfies the court.
If you are facing a contemptuous former spouse, Atlanta Family Law Group LLC will work with you to review your original court order and determine if your ex-spouse is in contempt of that order. If we believe this to be the case, we’ll help you gather the necessary documents and evidence to present to the court in hopes of securing the enforcement of your final order. We will request the necessary relief you need to move forward.
Our Atlanta divorce attorneys are ready to work with you and determine your options moving forward. We’re caring, experienced, and passionate about pursuing the most favorable outcome for our clients. We know how challenging this situation can be, and you shouldn’t have to pursue enforcement, but when you do, we’ll be there for you every step of the way. If your ex is not following your court order, contact our office today at 404-738-5805 to discuss how we may help you in a contempt or enforcement action.