Contempt of Divorce Decree
The decree of divorce is an order from the court, and any violation of it can be considered contempt of the decree. This is true even when both parties agree upon the terms of the divorce because these terms become a part of the decree. If you have concerns over a contempt of divorce, it is important that you work with Bryan divorce attorneys who can guide you through the process of filing or answering an action.
Common Reasons for a Contempt of Divorce Decree
When a divorce decree is entered the court has the power to enforce it and punish either party that does not live up to its components. Among the more common reasons people commit comtempt of court are:
- They fail to pay child or spousal support.
- They violate a provision regarding visitation rights.
- They do not turn property over to the other party that has been so ordered.
- They fail to pay certain bills, such as cost of schooling, medical, credit cards, etc.
- They do not provide health insurance when the court orders them to do so.
What to Do if the Other Spouse Commits Contempt of Court
In Texas contempt of court is a civil violation but the court can impose a criminal remedy, such as jail time in certain circumstances. The offender can also be issued a fine and ordered to satisfy back payments if, for instance, the party has failed to pay child support.
If your former spouse violates a term of the divorce decree the following are steps you should take to remedy the matter. Keep in mind that it is important to work with an attorney during any such enforcement action.
- Send your former spouse a letter by certified mail demanding compliance with the divorce decree. Make sure that you include a specific date by which this is to be done.
- Assuming the demand letter does not solve the matter, file a Motion for Contempt with the court. When you do this you will be given a hearing date. You must also serve the offending party.
- You may be required to attempt mediation before the judge hears your case.
- Attend the hearing.
It is worth noting that many contempt cases fail because the filing party does not complete the demand order with enough specifics. Be sure to provide dates when the other party failed to comply with the divorce decree, the precise nature of the non-compliance, and whether this affected you economically.
For Further Information or Legal Assistance
It is very important that you work with Bryan divorce attorneys if you plan to seek a contempt of divorce decree. Call Peterson Law Group today to arrange a consultation at 979-703-7014 or 936-337-4681.