Post-Decree Enforcement (Contempt)

If your former spouse, or any other party to a divorce proceeding, fails to obey their court-ordered obligations, the court can find the party to be in contempt. If a party was, 1) ordered to do something by a court, and 2) that party did not do what was ordered, and 3) the party had the ability to carry out the order, the court will find a party to be in contempt. This can be applied to any court order, consent order, final judgment, or settlement agreement when merged into a final decree or judgment.

Although most common with child support and visitation, contempt can apply to several other areas of the divorce. Proving all three elements of contempt can be very difficult to do, especially the third element, which is consistently litigated in court. An experienced family law attorney will be able to argue and distinguish the difference between not being able to do what the court ordered, rather than choosing not to do so.

We have been successful in defending against wrongfully brought contempt actions against our clients, as well as seeking various remedies when our client’s legal obligations are not being met by a former spouse. The court has a variety of ways to enforce a contempt action, from garnishing wages to incarceration, until debts are paid. Our experienced attorneys will aggressively pursue what you are entitled to under the law.

If your previous partner has not carried out his / her end of the court order, or you are facing a contempt action against you, contact our team of attorneys at Bell & Washington in our Atlanta office. Our team of family law attorneys has 50 years of combined experience that will ensure you are given the highest quality legal representation. There are no fees or obligations for an initial consultation and we would be delighted to speak with and assist you. Call us today at 404.437.6641 for a free consultation.