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My Ex-Spouse Is Violating a Court Order. What Can I Do?

Judith Trentman Wilson, Attorney at Law, P.C. July 19, 2021

You put up with a lot to get a court order out of your divorce that you can live with. But now, despite your best efforts, your former spouse isn’t abiding by that court order. Parenting time might be restricted, spousal or child support may go unpaid, or assets might not be turned over. What can you do about it?

Filing a Motion for Rule to Show Cause

Court orders are binding and must be followed. If they aren’t abided by, then the person who is in violation of that court order can be found in contempt. This is often achieved through a rule to show cause hearing.

Here, a motion is typically filed identifying the court order that has been violated and alleging with specificity the time and circumstances of the violation. Then, the other party is ordered into to court to show why he or she should not be held in contempt of court. If you find yourself in one of these hearings, regardless of which side you’re on, you need evidence to support your position.

The Effect of A Contempt Finding

If the court finds that the party has willfully violated the court’s order, then he or she may be held in contempt. If that happens, then the court can impose one of a number of penalties. In most instances, the party is either jailed or fined. However, a contempt finding can also serve as a basis to seek a modification of an existing order, such as one pertaining to child custody. If a parent has violated an existing court order by withholding visitation, for example, then a contempt finding is going to increase the likelihood that you’ll be able to seek increased visitation or perhaps even physical custody.

Find Help for Your Family Law Needs

We know that dealing with the court, court orders, and violations of those court orders can be emotional, stressful, and, to be quite honest, overwhelming. That’s why firms like ours are here to help. We know how to aggressively and successfully navigate the family law realm and as a result have secured positive outcomes for our clients time and again. If you’d like to learn more about what we can do for our clients, then we encourage you to continue to browse our website.