Complaints for Contempt in Massachusetts
At the conclusion of every family law matter, a judgment will be entered which delineates the terms and conditions upon which each party must operate. This order will encompass a wide range of areas, from child custody and visitation arrangements to alimony, child support and property division. The court expects that both parties will adhere to the terms and conditions of the court order.
However, what happens when one party does not comply with the court order? For example, what if one parent refuses to pay child support? What if a parent withholds visitation from the other parent? Courts can hold a person who refuses to comply with a divorce order in contempt of court. If you need to enforce your divorce order, or if your former spouse claims that you are not in compliance, an attorney is crucial to protecting your rights.
Prosecuting and Defending Complaints for Contempt
The Taunton lawyers of Percy Law Group, PC, have vast experience with the many issues involving Contempt of Court actions. Although our main office is located in Taunton, we maintain numerous locations in Massachusetts for your convenience. We fight for you, and we won't stop fighting for you until we get the justice you deserve. That is our promise.
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When our clients request the filing of a Complaint for Contempt, it is based on their belief that their spouse or other person has not complied with a court order. Generally, judges will not hold a party in contempt until they have been given the opportunity to come before the judge and explain themselves. If a judge holds a person in contempt of court, the judge has the discretion to impose a number of different penalties, including:
- Payment of the opposition's legal fees
- Jail time
In many cases, individuals want to hold their ex-spouse or significant other in contempt for failing to pay child support, alimony or other divorce-related expenses. In fact, failure to pay court-ordered child support or spousal support is the most common contempt action. Of course, in many situations, this failure to pay is not due to an intentional disregard of the court order, but a job loss, illness or other unforeseen event. In general, individuals will not be held in contempt of court for violating a court order they cannot comply with. For example, if you lose your job and cannot pay alimony or child support then you most likely will not be in contempt of court. However, it is the responsibility of the party experiencing a financial hardship to immediately notify the court and file a Complaint for Modification. Our law firm will give you candid advice as to what you can expect in a contempt hearing. If at all possible, our Taunton contempt of court lawyers will try to work out alternative arrangements with your ex-spouse in order to avoid the need for a court hearing.
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