Parties in a family law, divorce, or child custody case may find themselves in a contempt of court action, either as the party seeking contempt remedies or the party defending against the action. In a divorce case, the separation agreement often contains a large number of provisions that require immediate compliance; one misstep could amount to a violation of the separation agreement, which is treated as a violation of the court’s orders.
Contempt cases come in many shapes and sizes. They can have very serious repercussions, since jail time can be given as either a remedial or punitive sanction, as well as a fine, and the court has a wide variety of options available as possible remedial orders. Contempt cases are difficult for all parties involved. It can be emotionally tolling to deal with the fact that your ex-spouse has effectively requested the court to punish you, and it can be frustrating to be the one having to enforce the court’s orders using the contempt process, as it contains many complex procedures and ways that could end in failure, and it can be a very slow process.
Contempt actions can result from literally any alleged violation of the court’s orders, so they can relate to financial concerns, such as a failure to pay maintenance, or parenting issues, such as one parent failing to abide by the strict parenting time schedule.
Mediations are usually not ordered in contempt cases. They are in fact that only type of family law action that by themselves do not usually trigger a mediation order. However, mediation is potentially a very good way to resolve a contempt action so that it does not end up at a contested hearing. Often times, contempt of court cases are settled outside of court. Mediation is a great way to get there, especially if the parties are unable to work things out themselves. Contact me and schedule your next mediation with the Attorneys of Highlands Ranch.