It is crucial for individuals to obey court orders, including those that relate to child custody, visitation rights, child support, spousal support, and other family law issues decided by the court. Neglecting to do so can cause one to be found in contempt of court and might even lead to jail time. If your spouse violated a court order in California, there are ways for you to address this through legal action.
Holding a Spouse or Parent in Contempt for Violating a Court Order
Contempt of court petitions are generally considered criminal in nature in the state of California. As such, the petitioning spouse will have to prove a few different elements:
- The court order was valid: If a court order was vague and lacked clarity, enforcing it would be difficult. Therefore, to successfully prove your former spouse violated a court order, you must prove the order was valid.
- Your former spouse had knowledge of the court order: This is generally easy to prove since your former spouse should have personally received a copy of the court order or was present in court when the court order was made. If he or she was not served with the court order or was not in court at the time, this type of case can become complicated, but this is quite rare.
- Your former spouse must have willfully violated the court order: If your former spouse simply does not have the means to obey a court order that, for example, requires him or her to pay a support order, this could be a sufficient defense for your ex to not be in compliance with a court order. If a spouse is attempting to make partial payments as opposed to not paying at all, this will also be taken into consideration by the court.
Orders that can be punished by contempt of court in divorce or family law actions include:
- Child support orders
- Spousal support orders
- Failure to pay for attorney fees
- Failure to follow an order to seek work
- Domestic violence or restraining orders
- Nonpayment of debt
- Child custody or visitation orders
- Mandatory declaration of disclosure orders
OC Family Law Firm with Over 130 Years of Combined Experience!
If your former spouse is violating a court order, you can address this matter in court, but you will need the skilled assistance of an experienced family law attorney. At Burch, Coulston & Shepard, LLP, our Newport Beach family law firm has more than 130 years of experience, which we will put to work for you. We are prepared to take on any case, regardless of its complexities.
Contact our office today at (949) 565-4158 to request a free consultation.