What Is The Motion For Contempt For Child Support?

Divorce and custody cases rarely end with the judgment of the court in favor of either party. Often, you or your spouse may have to drag each other back to court for the enforcement of the judgment of the court. If you have to go back to court in order to enforce the order of the court, you can consider going through contempt, especially if it concerns child support.

The law recognizes that an amicable settlement or dissolution of a marriage by a court may not always go as agreed. Either one of the parties may decide not to follow the order of the court. Thus, the law provides a way for you to enforce the order, even after your case has been closed. This is the action for contempt.

What Is Contempt?

When a party disobeys the order of the court to do or not do something, he or she is said to be in contempt. It is an intentional or willful violation of a court order. Courts frown on contempt very much. This is because if every person is allowed to treat orders of the court however they like, there would be no point in going to the court in the first place.

There are two types of Contempt:

  • Direct Contempt – Occurs when an act is done in front of the court.
  • Indirect Contempt – An act that is done outside the presence of the court.

Any doubt whether contempt is direct or indirect is resolved in favor of the person accused of the contempt. Fox v. State,  490 So. 2d 1288 (Fla 5th DCA 1986).

Civil Contempt is remedial and Criminal Contempt is putative.  Typically, because the other party is bringing forth contempt proceedings, failure to pay child support is, in most cases, civil contempt.

The Motion For Contempt For Child Support

While you may have gotten that child support order, enforcing the order can be a separate task entirely, especially if your ex is uncooperative. The law allows you to file a motion showing that your ex is violating the child support order and asking the court to enforce it.

You can file this motion where the child support order has been violated. If you reasonably feel that it will be violated, you can file the motion for contempt. Filing the motion for contempt means that your old case will be reopened. There are rules that apply to the contempt proceedings though.

Conditions For Grant Of A Motion For Contempt For Child Support

These are the things that must be shown to the court to grant a motion for contempt for child support.

  • Court Order: You must show that there was a court order that was clear and understandable. To prove this, you can show that your ex was present when the order was made by the court, as well as their reaction to it.
  • Failure To Comply: You must also show that your ex has failed to comply with the child support order or intends to violate the order. For instance, if you have received messages or calls from your ex saying that they will never comply with the order, you can bring them to the court.
  • Reach Out: You must show that you have tried to reach out to your ex and request compliance. For instance, you could show the court the text messages you sent or the letter you posted asking why they have not complied.
  • Ability To Comply: Your ex must have the ability to comply. Their non-compliance must not be as a result of situations beyond their control. To prove this, you could show that your ex has a job that provides more than enough to comply with the child support order.

Contact An Orlando Child Support Lawyer

In many divorce and custody cases, resolution does not always happen when a judgement is made by the courts. A skilled divorce and child custody lawyer can help you through the process if your ex is not meeting the requirements outlined in your court order. Call Frost Law today at (407) 670-5569 for your free consultation.

Chad Frost
Chad Frost
As a criminal defense attorney, he is proud to handle all kinds of criminal cases and committed to giving his clients the compassionate personal attention and aggressive representation they need to protect their rights and freedoms.