Most people are relieved when they receive a final divorce decree. The ups and downs are over; they’re free to move on with their lives, and everything will fall into place. Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple.

Failure to Comply

Court orders are legally binding, and when someone doesn’t comply, the courts consider it contempt. Orders that stem from divorce usually refer to child custody, parenting time and child support, as well as spousal maintenance. A violation of any of these orders might require you to file a motion of contempt; that will bring your former spouse in front of the judge to explain his or her actions.

Failure to comply with a court order, whether it’s about paying child support, sharing parenting time or anything else, can result in fines or even jail time.

Violation of Court Orders

While you can accuse your ex—or your ex can accuse you—of contempt, the courts have to evaluate things on a case-by-case basis. In order for a judge to make a finding of contempt, the court must have jurisdiction over the case. Additionally, the party who files the motion has to prove that the other party violated a court order.

In all cases, in the interest of fairness, the person being accused of contempt has the right to show that he or she has complied with the court order. People who do violate court orders must be given the opportunity to explain the reasons for what they did (or in this case, didn’t do).

Contempt Motions

Because the court process in Minnesota can be complicated and confusing, many people choose to work with a lawyer when it comes to contempt motions. The result can be jail time, fines, payment of fees or the transfer of property, so no matter which side of the accusation you are on, it might be in your best interests to hire an attorney for help.

Let’s Talk about Your Case

Call us at (763) 783-5146 to schedule a confidential case evaluation. We’ll can discuss contempt motions, and help determine what your next course of action should be.