A contempt or enforcement proceeding can arise only after a court has issued an order or judgment in your case. Should you or your the opposing party fail to comply with the court’s directives, the parties (or the court itself) may initiate contempt or enforcement proceedings to enforce compliance with its orders.
Coulter Lambson offers caring, yet tenacious legal support for those in need. You have the right to take legal action if your spouse refuses to follow through with the agreements you had made. Contact us today to discuss the matter in detail with our St. Louis County family lawyers.
When a court issues an order, it is critical that you follow the orders of the court as best you can, as failure to abide by those orders may result in a finding of contempt of court, fines, payment of attorneys' fees to your spouse, statutory interest being added onto any applicable arrearages, compensatory time with your child and even possibility of incarceration. A finding of contempt may also adversely impact any ongoing litigation you may be involved in or may provide leverage to you if you are the non-offending spouse or party.
A contempt action only arises when a party has “willfully” and “wantonly” violated an order of the court. For a court to hold someone in contempt, there must be evidence that the person accused of contempt had the capacity to comply with the court order but willfully chose not to, without just cause.
The accused party must then present evidence that he or she either did not know (or understand) the court’s order or did not have the ability to comply with the order. It is always in your best interests to have a St. Louis County family lawyer working on your case and ensuring that your rights are protected through every step of the process.
Enforcement of court orders and contempt of court proceedings can be highly complex and can affect your case in profound and unexpected ways. If you are being accused of contempt of court or need to enforce a court order that is currently being violated, you should contact the experienced attorneys at Coulter Lambson at (314) 309-2377 for a free consultation to discuss your issue in greater depth. Every case is unique and the details and timing of your case may significantly impact any potential contempt or enforcement proceeding.