Contempt of Court Orders

Contempt of Court Orders in Charlotte

You may have heard someone say “he is in contempt for not paying child support,” or “she is in contempt for not returning the children on time,” or "he is in contempt for not paying me alimony.”

While what this individual is trying to say is understandable, it should be noted that if the judge who is in charge of a case like this has not found the offending person to be in contempt of court, then that person is not "in contempt," so to speak. Rather, what we have at that point is merely "alleged contemptuous behavior in willful violation of a court order.”

What Is Contempt?

Contempt is the method by which court orders are enforced to obtain compliance with the terms and conditions of an order. Additionally, contempt may be utilized by the court to hold someone accountable for violating a court order, but then "miraculously" comes into compliance with the court order by the time the plaintiff and defendant make it to the assigned trial (also known as hearing) date.

The Contempt Process

In the case of a Motion for Contempt, either you, or your attorney, will send out a written document to your ex-spouse, or your ex-spouse‘s attorney, describing the alleged contempt and demand that the individual violating the order come into compliance with the terms of it.

This action might produce a resolution to your issue without having to file a Motion for Contempt. Even if this proves unsuccessful, you will still be able to utilize this documentation to your advantage as evidence that you made a proper demand in the event that you have to go to trial to compel compliance with your court order.

What Happens if You Are Forced to File a Motion for Contempt?

In the event you are forced to file a Motion for Contempt, either you or your family law attorney must pay careful attention to ensure that the proper elements of your request are not only set forth within your Motion for Contempt, but also proven at trial.

The steps to file a Motion for Contempt are as follows:

  • First, you must allege within your Motion for Contempt and prove at trial that the other party has violated a provision of your court order.
  • Second, you must allege within your Motion for Contempt and prove at trial that the other party had the ability to comply with your court order, but willfully failed to do so. (You will also need to decide at this point whether you would like to request that the court issue an order compelling the appearance of the other side at the trial and shift the burden of proof, which is called a show cause order).
  • Then, you will need to decide whether you want the offending party to be found in criminal contempt or civil contempt.
  • Once your Motion for Contempt is filed, you will be assigned a trial date.

Your trial date will usually be set at least 2 to 4 months after your file date. At Coggin Law, we often find there to be a greater willingness on the part of a person to negotiate once a Motion for Contempt has been filed against him/her. Therefore, you could utilize this time to negotiate with the other side to resolve the issues set forth in your Motion for Contempt.

You might even find at this juncture that the other side is willing to utilize a form of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or arbitration, to find a solution in regards to the allegations set forth in your Motion for Contempt. If you are successful in crafting an amicable resolution, a consent order can be entered which will negate the need for a trial.

If you would like to learn more about contempt of court orders, please contact us online or call us at (704) 286-0600 to schedule a consultation!

Why Choose Us?

  • Seasoned

    Our attorney has 20 years of unmatched experience exclusively practicing Family Law.

  • One-On-One Attention

    We pride ourselves on being extremely responsive to our client’s needs. When you hire our firm, you get your attorney's one-on-one attention.

  • Collaborative

    We will attempt to resolve your case in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible, by taking a collaborative approach prior to considering court action.

  • Detailed

    Whether preparing for a meeting with you, or in preparation for mediation or trial, we take a “details matter” approach to every case.

Alienation of Affection/Criminal Conversation
Child Custody
Mediation/Collaborative Law
Premarital Consults
Separation/Divorce
Spousal Support/Alimony
Why You Should Not Wait to File for Divorce to Resolve Your Custody and Financial Issues
  • Alienation of Affection/Criminal Conversation
  • Child Custody
  • Mediation/Collaborative Law
  • Premarital Consults
  • Separation/Divorce
  • Spousal Support/Alimony
  • Why You Should Not Wait to File for Divorce to Resolve Your Custody and Financial Issues

Our Testimonials

Stories From Our Happy Clients
  • “Gerry Coggin knows the law and drafts legal documents with precision.”

    - Lindsay
  • “Gerry has proved to take a very complex legal matter and resolved it to my satisfaction.”

    - Clarence
  • “Gerry Coggin and his staff, hands down, have made every single transition with each of my needs SEAMLESS.”

    - Daniel
  • “Gerry demonstrated an understanding of the psychological aspects of this tough time in life, a skill that proved to be invaluable throughout my case.”

    - Andrew
  • “From the moment I hired him I was finally able to breath a sigh of relief knowing every detail would be taken care of.”

    - Kelly
/