Getting Divorced? 3 Ways You Could Find Yourself In Contempt Of Court

Regardless of how amicable you believe that your divorce is going to be, heading off to divorce court is not something that anyone looks forward to or even wants to partake in. A judge will issue verbal orders and possibly even some written orders, and if you fail to comply, you may find yourself in contempt of order — which could be a crime, depending on the situation. Here are three ways that you could find yourself in contempt in your divorce.

#1: Custody

Every individual that has been named in a court-ordered custody arrangement is required to abide by all the custody orders outlined within the arrangement. Failing to do so or interfering with the orders directly, even if by a member of the direct family like a grandparent or an individual outside of the immediate family, could result in contempt of court.

Note that this type of action is actually considered a crime in numerous states, and by committing this crime, you are potentially damaging your rights to visitation and custody. Judges take custody issues very seriously, so it is recommended to never try to interfere with your child's relationship with the other parent.

#2: Restraint

There are some divorce as well as custody cases that require protective or restraining orders. These types of orders are not ordered by a judge lightly, so they should be taken very seriously if one is in effect in your particular divorce case. Violating a protective or restraining order could put you in contempt of court. Similar to the custody contempt of court, violating restraining and/or protective orders could be seen as its own crime and could cause a potential impact on the overall outcome of your case.

#3: Financial

In your individual divorce case, if you and/or your spouse have been ordered to relinquish your rights to any personal property, real estate, or bank accounts, it is imperative that you do so within the timeframe that you have been given. Failing to do this could result in you being in contempt of court. While this may not be considered a crime like the other two examples mentioned above, it is still equally as important to do as you are told by the judge and to avoid being found in contempt because it does not look good on you. Another example of financial contempt is when an individual does not comply with their court-ordered obligations to pay spousal alimony or child support.

To learn more about this topic, speak with an attorney like those at Reagan, Melton, & Delaney LLP.