When a party to a case fails to follow an order of the court they may be held in contempt. Contempt is mechanism by which the court can enforce any type of court order, whether it is a temporary order during dissolution proceeding or a final order after a case has been closed.
Family law statutes allow the court to order both remedial and punitive sanctions to enforce orders. However, the court cannot order imprisonment for debt.Contempt of a Child Support Order
Contempt proceedings are an appropriate method of enforcing past-due child support, even past the child’s age of majority. When filing for this type of motion with regards to past-due child support, it is important to give the court the best view of the situation possible. The party filing should also provide the court with specific and detailed information. Likewise, if you are defending against a Motion for Contempt you should also provide specific and detailed information, as well as proof to support your side of the story.
If the court finds that an individual is guilty of failure to pay child support, it can order the individual to pay the support, the other party's attorney’s fees and other fines, and order incarceration. It's not necessary for the court to find that the failure to pay was willful or deliberate; it need only find that the support was not paid as ordered. This is the same for the other provisions of the Child Support Order so long as the individual had notice of the order. If you have questions about enforcing your child support order, call one of our knowledgeable Washington contempt motion attorneys today.Contempt of a Parenting Plan
If the court has personal jurisdiction over a party, the court can hold that person in contempt for violations of a parenting plan. Any of the provisions of the parenting plan can be enforced through a motion for contempt.
To make a finding of contempt of a parenting plan, the court must find that the parent, in bad faith, has not complied with the provisions of the parenting plan. If the court finds that the parent has not complied, it can award make-up time for a parent who has been denied residential time. This additional time shall be equal to the time actually missed because of the non-compliant parent’s actions. The court can also order the non-compliant parent to pay attorney’s fees, fines and reasonable expenses incurred in locating or returning a child. There will also be a civil penalty of not less than $100 imposed. The court may also order jail time. Our Washington State contempt motion lawyers can help you enforce your parenting plan - call us for your contact us!Contempt of a Dissolution Decree - Washington Motion for Contempt Lawyers can Help you get it Enforced
In order for a decree to be enforceable by an action for contempt, the duty imposed on the violator must be clearly and specifically set forth in the order. This duty must be able to be understood by those who are ordered to act and the alleged violator must have received notice of the decree and that the decree has not been complied with.
If the court finds contempt for not following a decree, then it can order the individual to pay the support, it can order the individual to pay the other party’s attorney’s fees and other fines, and it can also order incarceration. Call our motion for contempt lawyers in WA State today for help enforcing your dissolution decree.Will the Court Order Jail Time? Get Your Questions Answered by our Washington State Motion for Contempt Attorneys
It is rare for the court to order actual jail time in a contempt action. If the moving party has asked for jail time in their motion, then the alleged violator has a right to an attorney and the court may appoint an attorney if the party does not have the means to hire one. In cases where the action relates to debt, whether it be child support, maintenance or other family debt , the court cannot order jail time if the debtor can show that they do not have the means to comply with the order.
Generally, jail time will only be enforced in cases where the violation is particularly egregious, where there are repeated contempt findings or where the violator refuses to cooperate with the court when ordered to do so. The court must provide some means to “purge” the contempt to avoid jail time that the violator has the means of fulfilling if it chooses to impose incarceration as a means to coerce compliance with the original order.Our Washington State Contempt Motion Lawyers are Experienced
If you have questions regarding enforcing orders, give our experienced Washington contempt motion attorneys a call today!