What Does Contempt of Court Mean During Divorce?

During or after the divorce process, you may be given court orders. It’s important that you comply with these orders as soon as possible. Otherwise, you could be held in contempt of court.

Whether you have been held in contempt or need help with filing a contempt citation, you can trust our divorce attorneys for sound legal advice.

Here’s what contempt of court means during or after getting a divorce.

What is a Court Order?

A court order is a ruling made by a judge for you to do or not do something. For example, you may be given a court order to roll over some of your retirement savings to your spouse in lieu of giving up ownership of your company. (To learn more about this, read our blog post on how to protect your business in a divorce.)

If you don’t comply with a court order, your spouse could file a contempt citation. Likewise, our divorce attorneys can help you file a contempt citation if your spouse hasn’t complied with the judge’s order

What is Contempt of Court?

If your spouse has violated a court order, our attorneys may recommend you file a contempt citation. What a contempt citation does is ask a judge to punish someone for refusing to comply with the order. If a person is found guilty of contempt, they could be fined or forced to serve jail time.

Do I Need to File a Contempt Citation?

First, our divorce lawyers will help you understand your situation and whether filing the contempt citation is the right move. Depending on your circumstances, we may recommend divorce mediation outside of court.

Our law firm offers mediation services so you can reach a mutually beneficial agreement with your spouse without dragging out your case in court.

Other situations may call for a tougher stance by requesting a status conference with the courts or filing other types of motions. Our attorneys have plenty of experience with divorce and family law, which means we’ll be able to help you secure the best outcome for your case.

How Do I File a Contempt Citation?

Our divorce attorneys will fill out the necessary paperwork to file a contempt citation, making sure they’re signed and notarized. Once the paperwork is filed, you will be given the date and time for the advisement hearing. Since both you and your spouse will need to appear in court, we’ll make sure the citation is served to the other party so they have plenty of advance notice.

At the hearing, your spouse will need to plead either guilty or not guilty of being in contempt of court. If your spouse fails to show up for the advisement hearing, the judge will issue a bench warrant for their arrest.

Once the date for the hearing is set, our divorce attorneys will be able to build your case and help you prove that your spouse is in contempt of court.

What Should I Do If I’m Held in Contempt of Court?

If you are held in contempt, your first call should be to our divorce lawyers. We’ll be able to help you determine what your next steps should be to avoid fines or jail time.

If you haven’t complied with a court order, we’ll be able to help you get back on track so you comply with the judge’s order before the advisement hearing. If this isn’t possible, we offer divorce mediation services to help you get the best outcome for your case.

Not complying with a court order is a major mistake. Check out our blog post on what other divorce law mistakes you should avoid during this time.

Request a Legal Consultation

The Florida divorce attorneys at Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano P.A. can help you navigate the turbulent divorce process. To request a legal consultation with one of our attorneys in Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and Naples, call (800) 283-7442.

This blog post has been updated.

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