Contempt of Court Orders

What Happens If Your Spouse Is Not Keeping Up With Payments?

If your former spouse or partner has fallen behind in paying his or her alimony or child support payments, or he or she is not abiding by the child custody and visitation schedule, you may be eligible to file an action for contempt of a court order. Our Charlotte family law attorneys can help you protect your rights and interests.

Filing A Motion For Contempt

Violations of court orders relating to custody, visitation, child support, alimony and other family law issues can result in a finding of "contempt of court" and even jail time for the offending party. Depending on the nature of your complaint, you may file for:

  • Civil contempt — Motions for civil contempt seek to motivate the offending party to comply with the original order, and typically allow for the offending party to make amends by catching up with his or her payments. Once he or she does, they are no longer in contempt.
  • Criminal contempt — If the offending party is a repeat offender, you may file a motion for criminal contempt. If found in contempt, the offending party may pay a heavy fine, go to jail, pay attorneys' fees, and may even risk his or her custody/visitation rights.

You may bring a contempt action when your former spouse/partner has violated an existing court order. However, Separation Agreements are not enforceable by contempt, but only through a breach-of-contract lawsuit. We can help you determine your options and take the appropriate action to enforce the terms of a Separation Agreement.

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